DONT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT HIM!

 

 

READ: Ephesians 6: 15:20

 

 

Be joyful always; pray continually without ceasing;  give thanks in all circumstances, for this is Gods will for you in Christ Jesus.                                         I Thessalonians 5: 16-18 (NIV)

 

 

          The exhortation to pray without ceasing never made much sense to me.  After all, surely God didnt expect me to spend the day on my knees; there was work to be done!  However, after experiencing the movie, Fiddler On The Roof, the words of Paul to pray without ceasing suddenly took on special meaning.  In the film the main character, Tevye, talks to God while going through his daily routines.  Not the long-winded orations that we sometimes hear from the pulpit but short simple unembellished utterances that serve to acknowledge Gods presence and the need to communicate with Him not just during our devotional hour but throughout our day.  Maybe this is what Jesus had in mind when He cautioned against vain repetitions, do not keep babbling for they think they will be heard because of their many words (Matthew 6: 7 NIV).

 

I frequently find myself using these mini-prayers when driving, especially in crowded urban areas.  They often consist of just a few words, frequently, incomplete sentences.  Maybe, Lord, help me focus my thoughts as I maneuver through this traffic or Grant me grace not react with anger to the erratic driving around me or Guide me, Im confused. These groaning of ones heart become increasingly meaningful as we use them. Whether they are uttered silently or aloud, they become woven through our thoughts and may even transform our attitude both towards the situation and/or our fellow drivers.  Finally, I have found an excellent way to start each day is Lord, let me be a blessing to someone as I go through this day and to repeat it frequently as I encounter the events of the day.

 

          Often one has used mini-prayers but hasnt  called them that.  The main characteristics are their brevity and recognition that God is always ready to hear our concerns, laments, and thanks.  Listed below are some other situations and mini-prayers which may spark your own thoughts.

 

          Dealing  with difficult or insensitive people

 

Whether this may be a governmental official or a cranky mate, mini-prayers may reduce the level of tension or stress for both parties.  God, it appears that he/she is having a bad day.  Give me the words to offer cheer and understanding or Help me to focus on the problem and not the negative attitude or change my heart toward this person.  These brief prayers can serve to help us evaluate the real importance of the encounter and allow God to put within us the most loving attitude we can master.

 

 

          Thank You for this Person

 

 

Most salespersons during a holiday season claim that these festive occasions often bring out the worse in people.  A smile of thanks can be a pleasant mini-prayer or maybe a comment such as Your helpfulness really adds to the season or I thank God for people who are so helpful during this time of the year.Needless to say these expressions should be sincere and reflect His love in our heart. 

 

          No, pray without ceasing does not require us to spend the entire day on our knees, but it does require that we make quick, brief prayers our habitual response to numerous situations throughout the day.  To paraphrase a slogan of a credit card commercial, Don’t leave home without Him.