By Darlene Melcher, with quotes from R.D. Fierro
“Praying is easiest on the mountaintop, but most necessary in the valley.”
The previous quote comes from our soon-to-be-published book entitled Purposeful Prayer, Seeking to Pray Like Jesus. I’m really excited about making this book available. Probably because I need it so much! I need constant encouragement and reminder to pray. Honestly, it makes me crazy to think how often I choose to spend my time on lesser things, like games on my phone or trolling through social media sites- busted! It’s like I have this angry little toddler inside of me that just wants all the wrong things and none of the good things. As Mark Twain so aptly said, “Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.” So prayer accidentally gets shoved into this “work” category somewhere between folding the laundry and paying the bills.
However, “Prayer is about communion with a Divine Person, not the appeasement of a supernatural assessor whose interest is formulaic compliance rather than relational intimacy” (Purposeful Prayers). You see, prayer belongs in a third category- of things we ought to do, but are also a huge life-giving privilege.
“When we devote time to focus on God in prayer we are demonstrating our love for Him as well as building our relationship with Him. This devotion and dedication is pleasing to God. Imagine that! It is possible for us to give pleasure to the infinite Author of the universe.”
Wow. That idea just thrills me. We can bring pleasure to God and that exchange brings pleasure to us as well. So how should we define prayer if it is something we ought to do, something that draws us into the presence of God and brings pleasure? I guess it is the true Labor of Love. If we focused on how much God loves us, prayer would be a joyful response instead of a dutiful recitation. Start today by recalling all the good and beautiful things you can about God and what He has done for you and speaking that back to Him in worship.
“Almighty, gracious, and heavenly Father, we praise You and adore You and bow down before You. We are overcome by thoughts of Your majesty and excellence. We humbly come to You to worship You in spirit and in truth…”
Purposeful Prayers by R. D. Fierro, coming soon.