Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2 (NIV)
With our busy schedules these days my wife and I have decided to institute a new system for communication. We find ourselves almost like two ships passing in the night with differing work schedules, soccer practice, music lessons and church responsibilities. Hopefully this new system will draw us closer together. Here it is.
We’ve decided only to talk to each other once a day, except for a hasty, distracted ‘thank you’ at meal times. Most days talking will only take place in bed after the lights are out. That way if we fall asleep in the middle of conversation it won’t be a big deal. We’ll already be ‘in position’ so to speak. Also, rather than waste the precious time for communication on non-essentials, we will only use communication to ask each other for things. After all, that’s what’s really important, right? Just in case you think this sounds a little harsh, we are including the ‘Crisis Clause’. This little number allows us some extra time for communication during times of extreme stress. Of course, some days get long and so we also have an agreement that if we miss talking to each other for several days…or weeks, it’s understood that we still love each other and are passionately interested in each other.
I’m looking forward to this new system. It should make things much better between us.
Hopefully, by now, you are screaming, “NO WAIT! That will never work. You need to increase the level and depth of conversation if you want your relationship to grow stronger.” In fact, if you aren’t screaming that, if you are thinking of adopting my new communication system, I’m worried about you.
Those of us who are Christ-followers know the importance of prayer. However, to my own guilt, it’s the one thing that often gets overlooked in our daily walk. Perhaps it’s time to rethink how we look at prayer. As Max Lucado says in his book, ‘Come Thirsty’, “Think of prayers less as an activity for God and more as an awareness of God.”
One of the things I appreciate about family road trips is the amount of talking that takes place when you are ‘trapped’ in a vehicle for hours. It’s not an organized activity; it’s just what you do. Prayer should be like that. Sure there need to be those times when you get alone to be ‘intimate’ with the father, to talk about those things that are heavy on your heart, but sometimes the best conversations can be those one or two word comments as you walk the path of life.
Your Father is passionately in love with you. Even though he’s with you every step of the way, he looks forward to hearing from you. Talk with him throughout the day. It not only reminds him of your love for him, it reminds you of his continual presence with you. Like any proud parent he wants to hear about your day; the exciting things, the scary things; the things that puzzle you. Neglecting conversation with your Father will have the same effect as neglecting conversation with those you love here on earth. It will make you feel alone and unloved.
PRAYER: Father, thank you for the gift of prayer. Thank you for loving me so much that you want to hear about every part of my day. Forgive me for the times I’ve ignored you. Help me to be constantly aware of your love and presence in my life. In Jesus name, Amen.