“Before they call I will answer;
while they are yet speaking I will hear.”
In my thinking, there has to be terribly cataclysmic going on if you see me resort to prayer. Praying not an automatic response for me. It seems like it is the final, last thing I will do, just before the walls crumble and the enemy threatens annihilation. Only then I start praying. At that moment, it will seem I am very devout. But that is a lie, I am not.
All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten, by Robert Fulghum. (That is a great title, and the book was pretty good too.) Making that connection at that age implies a lot of native ability. There is so much, so very much we are expected to learn at such a young age. But I have to tell you this, and it’s a well-guarded secret of sorts. Christians need to learn how to pray when they are in their spiritual kindergarten.
The curriculum is basic. There needs to be a reality and a definite sense of effectiveness in our prayer. Prayer seems to require an awareness of something substantial, as if it were really making a difference after all. And to make matters more intense, it’s all to be done on completely by faith. When fighter pilots start flying for real their F-16s, the instructors will block off their vision, forcing the students to fly by instruments only–that is all they can see. Now that seems very scary to me.
By faith we fly “…not by sight.” And this process is quite intimidating, many wash-up and can’t continue. It really is a trust issue, and at times it’s all we can do to muddle through it. The basics of prayer are given at a young age, but there seems an exponential growth in our spirits over the things we accomplish through him. It seems to me (the ultimate 98 lb. spiritual weakling, mind you) is that it is not so much as duration but in frequency. Pray short! But pray a lot. Pray about everything. Ten second prayers should be a regular part of your life.
Prayer is a class we must attend to get our wings. I don’t think that it can be done poorly. (It is just done!) It seems the best kind of prayer is the desperate kind. People learn to pray when things are very, very bad. When they fall into a deep well, or when they find out their young daughter is pregnant. People who have terrible illnesses (physical or mental) are often the best prayer warriors. The Father has given them a precious gift.
Pray short! But pray a lot. Pray about everything.
Learning prayer is a basic 101 course. But if we take good notes we will keep coming back to our basic lessons. It seems that things are received but never obtained. We are his students, and we must truly believe he loves to teach us. Praying seems to be a way of giving him joy. And if I can do that, I want to.