Lord Teach Us to Pray: Reimagining How We Pray by Lisa Hewitt – Day 3

by Christine Sine

Today’s post is the third and final installment of Lisa Hewitt’s contribution for the Lord Teach Us to Pray series, borrowed from her blog Digging for Myrrh.

Lisa is “a Christ-worshiper, writer, kitty-mama and wannabe saint (with a long way to go). Trying to stay on the path and appreciate the beauty…with daily thanksgiving. Trying to listen for His song and sing along…and loving every note.”

On “Reimagining How We Pray” Day 3

Sometimes I think our difficulty comes when we try to separate the idea of prayer from the idea of worship and the idea of life. We compartmentalize. We compartmentalize God we like we compartmentalize work or play or eating breakfast or making love—in a specific slot of time and a specific place for a specific purpose—and in so doing, we put God in a box.

This year, God has been blowing out the sides of the box I put Him in.

Confession: this is not comfortable.

The $64,000 question isn’t, “How do I pray more/better/more effectively?” That makes the question about me. The question is, “How do I step outside of the box and let God lead me?”

Prayer happens when God crashes through the compartments. He does it all the time—but do we allow ourselves to see it? It happens when we see the hummingbird that hovers just outside our window or when we hear the laughter of a child. It happens when we play that symphony or cry with a friend over her loss. It happens when we feel His presence in a church we never planned to visit, in a denomination with which we’ve never been comfortable. It happens when we choose to thank God in every moment, instead of resenting Him for what He hasn’t given us or what we think we deserve or what we think He has taken away or how He hasn’t met us in the way we expected. It happens when we choose—again and again, moment by moment—to see Him in every event, to invite Him into every tick of the clock, every action we take, every thought we think, whether glorious or tragic, sinful or saintly. It is then we discover that He will embrace us there…and that, truly, nothing can separate us from His love. Nothing. Not the worst in us…not the best in us.

God IS. Whether we see Him or not, whether we acknowledge Him or not, He IS, and He is with us. But when we do acknowledge Him, when we do embrace Him, when we let Him in to every single thing we feel—that is when prayer happens. Brother Lawrence called this “practicing the presence of God.” The Apostle Paul wrote, “Pray without ceasing.”

I think they were on to something.

We may not immediately feel different as we invite the Holy Spirit into every moment of our lives. I didn’t—not right away. (But a friend of mine once observed that God moves at different speeds for different people, so I’m not handing down pronouncements; God can, and sometimes does, radically alter someone’s life in an instant.) What I discovered is that over time, as I invited His transformation into my prayer life, change happened. He changed how I perceive Him. He changed how I relate to Him. He changed how I pray. And all I did…is live in obedience to allow Him.

I invite you to ask Him to do that, today. He will answer. He promised.

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