Every Friday morning at seven, a few of us aim to get together and pray: for our disciples, for each other and for – whatever seems good. Sometimes, not many of us make it (sometimes it’s just one faithful sister, bless her soul).
Not wanting to get over-heavy about this, but perhaps this is a symptom of what someone described (rather over-heavily?) on the Jesus Army forum today as “the sin of prayerlessness”. Perhaps such a phrase is overdoing it, but the comment on the forum was well worth reading: thought-provoking stuff. (Check it out.)
I particularly liked this quote:
“Prayer occurs when you depend on God. Prayerlessness occurs when you depend on yourself.”
I know that I ought to spend more time in “deliberate” prayer. But as I've grown as a Christian and taken on increasing pastoral responsibility for others, I've found something new and rather exciting has happened in my prayer life. You could call it – “accidental” prayer. That is, as I carry people on my heart, in my mind and thoughts and love - they pop up all the time and find myself praying for them. Very often it's just a very brief, "arrow" prayer shot at God; sometimes it grows into something more and I have to go off and pace up and down and pray, or find someone to pray with.
But I realise that they come from something that's going on in my spirit at a deeper level. I'm carrying these people. They're there all the time. And occasionally they erupt, often silently or in a whispered prayer.
I think this is something approaching what the apostle meant by "unceasing prayer". This doesn't undo the call to “deliberate” prayer for certain set times and the call to pray together, agreeing in faith and so on. But it undergirds the whole thing and makes prayer a state of being rather than something to be done.
Let's keep talking about prayer! And let's keep praying.