In EVERY thing, PRAY!

As I begin this new journey as a Shepherd for Standing Stone, I realize how poor my prayer life is. The Bible is full of examples and commands to pray. Even Jesus taught on the subject. But we are so quick to realize on ourselves or others rather than the One who can do anything but fail.

All Standing Stone shepherds have a high requirement for accountability. We are required to spend 1/5 of our work week in prayer. At the lowest level, that is 3 hours per week. I began to wonder how many of us spend 3 hours a week in concentrated prayer. I pray, but I don’t see the move of God I could see if I prayed more.

When I was 17, I heard a pastor preach about relying on God. In his message, he shared how he prayed and asked God for directions in things as simple as which toothpaste to buy. He concluded that if he could not hear from God in the little things, how would he know how to minister to a couple whose child just died or someone who experienced a crisis he had not experienced.

We need to know God’s voice. We need Him to go before us and prepare the way for meetings and divine appointments we have ahead of us. So, my challenge to you and me is to pray even about the little things. That’s the command in Philippians 4:6 – pray about EVERYTHING! Let’s stop getting our advice from horoscopes, Dr. Phil, and my homey Bill (pardon the cheesy rhyme). We run to all the wrong people when Jesus is all we need.

16 thoughts on “In EVERY thing, PRAY!

  1. Convicting post. I need to improve in my prayer life as well. 10-15 minutes every morning translates to somewhere around an hour and a half a week. Yikes! Time to find space for another prayer in the afternoon/evening.

  2. I think a lot of people don’t pray as much as they should/could because they think “it doesn’t work.” But God does hear, it’s just that He’s a loving Father and only wants what’s best for us. So He will say “No” – which IS an answer. The Bible is full of wisdom on prayer. The more we know God’s Word, the better we’ll know how to pray prayers that “get past the ceiling.” 😉

    Ann Aschauer
    Author, “BARRIERS (So, if prayers are so powerful, how come mine don’t get answered?)”

  3. I actually used to pray more than that! But the Holy spirit told me I was a Martha and needed to become a Mary. I now pray before I go to bed and when I wake up. But depending on the day and my 4 children it may not be for long. But I have learned to pray throughout my day. After all praying the majority of it, is a conversation between you and God and I love talking to Him while washing dishes or when I’m in my garden. God bless you brother on your new journey!

  4. Good post Matthew. I’d also agree that feeding on God’s Word and praying are closely linked. When Jesus said that without Him we could do nothing, that’s pretty inclusive, especially with regard to our asking for and receiving guidance, I really don’t think anything is too small and I’m trying to expand my practical scope. I just don’t think we really understand how dependent we are and how willing He is to show us. I find that the more aware I become of my need for more of Jesus to live in me, than me living in me, the more I can sense the leading of His Holy Spirit. It’s almost like starting to learn to walk all over again. Thanks so much for sharing. Grace and blessings.,

  5. Prayer is a conversation with God. Too often we do too much of the talking and too little of the listening. Just be still. C.S. Lewis tells us that: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our thoughts and shouts to us in our suffering.” No matter the extreme or lack there of He waits patiently and lovingly for us to reach out to Him.
    -Alan

  6. Thank you for this! Just the thought of spending 1/5 of my work week in prayer boggles my mind. But then the question of “Why don’t I spend that much time in prayer,” and the conviction of the honest answer hits! Lord forgive me! I must be intentional!

  7. Such a thought provoking post and on a subject I am deeply interested in. I mentioned that I am bipolar. My personal flavor of bipolar airs on the spectrum of God related topics. My crazy personally goes about the business of believing I am the chosen of God meant to usher in world peace. Crazy, but the truth that feels true to my being. And so I am constantly in conversation with God about everything. Because I am an insanely confused person and wish not to lean on my own understanding but rather the love of the divine and its ministerings. To more accurately describe how extreme I take this, my every thought is directed to God. I give my focus to channeling my energy to The One Above I Love Above All in every microcosm of a thought I have.

    Is that prayer? Or does prayer only come into practice when you are down in solemn focus and pulling yourself away from the world?

    I want to be deadly devoted to my Heavenly Father. I want Him to know that I put His Will before my own needs and desires, that I lay my life before Him in whatever way He desires. Is there some spiritual advice that I may have missed in holy understanding that dictates what actually constitutes prayer? I make special mention of this question because I don’t want to be lost in my attempt to be found by God. I don’t want to sit on my beliefs and hold them up as good enough for God when I am falling below expectations clearly articulated elsewhere in history and in the world.

    If I will my thoughts to be thoughtful prayer as I pass my way through the day, is that truly prayer? Or am I just living my life, telling people I’m giving my thoughts to God, busying myself thinking thoughts that are just thoughts, and just going about the business of being an unholy holy person? I wish to be beautifully holy and devoutly divinely inspired which is why I tend towards the extreme of every thought is worthy of being a prayer.

    Is it real or created reality that my inner voice is used for nothing more than speaking/praying directly to God on every matter imaginable?

    1. These are some deep thoughts. In Scripture, we see prayers as simple as “God, save me” to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane praying so intensely that his sweat was described as drops of blood. Most of Jesus’ prayer life is highlighted by His solitude to intentionally commune with the Father. These are just a few thoughts. Prayer is really a much deeper subject than I can adequately describe in one paragraph or post.

      1. I would love to explore your mind on the topic of prayer and really any other subject falling under the realm of God if you would be open to a kind and considerate conversation with an admittedly insane person.

        I am completely cut off from the world. My mental illness and Vow of Poverty has taken me from the ability to materially participate in the world around me and left me living secluded in my home with my family, praying over God and His ways in every minute of my life. I’m an extremist and I take my devotion to God to deeply.

        I would love to know more of the ways of those looking to help others serve God better, in hopes of bettering my own ways.

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