Being in Prayer

“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV)

As a little girl I was taught to say my prayers, “Now I lay me down to sleep…” and “God is great, God is good…” and “Our Father, who art in heaven…” As I grew older I learned to say my prayers in more structured ways, like ACTS for adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. In my mind prayer began when I said something like, “Dear God…” and ended when I said, “Amen.” I am not sure when I thought God was involved in my prayer, outside of listening and responding to me.
A big shift in my prayer life came when I began to see God’s role in prayer. I discovered a new awareness of the Spirit inviting me to prayer by stirring that desire within me. I no longer felt that prayer began and ended with my words. And I am no longer tied to a specific way of prayer. I use several prayer books as guides for my prayer times. Some days my prayer is music or quiet walks, and some days it’s just me and God sitting quietly. I no longer say my prayers and wait to see what God is going to do. I now feel like I am invited to join in what God is already doing. And I am no longer sure where prayer begins and ends, it’s more like it flows throughout the day.

Lord, thank you for being patient with me as I learned to join you in unceasing prayer.

By Carol, Eads