Growing up, I was a legalistic, private school girl. I had my prayer check list and felt very guilty if I did not have that hour long quiet time daily with the Lord. I would feel sinful anytime I threw up a quick prayer before a test or as I was rushing somewhere, thinking that the Lord was probably angry at my flippant use of prayer.
The more I get to know God, I have a different perspective. Now, I see that we are actually called to “pray without ceasing,” which I used to think was simply hyperbole, but now I believe is Truth to the core. As I work part-time, am a wife and a mommy, I am constantly in what I like to call “emergency mode.” It seems like there are constant needs and demands on me, and so, while my offense is the Word, one of my defenses is prayer. I cannot have a little time of prayer at the end or beginning of the day. I must constantly cry out. As I am breathing in the Scripture and worshiping with my heart, I need to exhale prayer constantly.
I would have a poor relationship with my husband if I said, “Look, Babe, I’m really busy, but I love you above everyone else, so we can talk from 7 am – 7:30 am or 10:00 – 10:30 pm? You pick, OK?” No way. He would think I had lost my mind! On tough days, I am texting, emailing, calling him, and asking when we can have date night. I need him.
Same with God. We need Him; that’s why the Word and prayer are fiercely tied together. It is breathing—in with the Word and out with prayer. In with the Word and out with prayer. I have a good friend who is a prayer warrior and sometimes when I ask her a question, she closes her eyes for a moment quietly and then responds. What is she doing? Praying. There are times when I’m with the kids and I close my eyes in frustration, and I pray. I pray in the shower. I pray when people text or email and ask for prayer. I may text or email a prayer right back. When someone asks me to pray for them, I say, “Ok, let’s pray right now!” When I am troubled by what someone says I stop them and say, “Let’s pray.”
I even pray out loud when I am driving in the car. If this embarrasses you, you can always sing your prayers. Then, the person in the car next to you will just think that you are singing along with the radio. I had a small Bible study group of high school girls, and I told them about praying out loud. The girls used to get on their cell phones and walk down the school hall talking to God. That way they could pray out loud. It was hilarious to walk next to them and know that they were praying while everyone else thought they were talking to their best friend.
Just a personal note, if I am praying for more than a minute or two, I have to pray out loud. I do not know about you but I start praying and my mind goes everywhere. Even C.S. Lewis talked about how he found it impossible to pray silently, which made me feel a lot better. I used to feel guilty about this, but instead I have learned that if something keeps coming into your mind, then I should go ahead and lift that up. I used to go through my list and if something popped into my head I would spend all my time trying to push it out so I could focus on the next item on my list. Maybe God is calling it into your mind to offer it up.
We inhale God’s truth and exhale prayer. They are our only lines of defense and offense. They are how we wield our femininity to the glory of God. I do not have some new-fangled message or weird new “fix-it.” I’m simply saying to read your Bible and pray. It is staggering how difficult we make the Christian life, and how quickly we fill our lives with so many nonessentials. Then we become so overwhelmed, we cannot come up for air. It’s like we are suffocating or drowning.
The Word and prayer are as life giving to our Christian health as breathing is to our physical health. If you are sick and tired of being spiritually sick and tired, you need to take time and breathe— in with God’s Word and out with prayer!
Father God, thank You for Truth that was applicable, is applicable, and will always be. Thank You that Your compassions are new every morning (Lam 3:22-23). Thank You that You do not give me temptations beyond what I can bear (1 Cor 10:13). Thank You that You will never leave me or forsake me (Heb 13:5). Thank You that You have a peace that passes understanding (Phil 4:7). Thank You for … (insert your own thoughts here), in Jesus’ name.
By Angel Angell with Shabby Chic Ministries