Prayer is words. Words directed to our Heavenly Father. Words that are sometimes tender. And at other times urgent, insistent…or even angry. And there are times when prayer is “with sighs too deep for words”. (Romans 8:26)
When the Apostle Paul urged that we are to “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17), he must have meant that prayer was both “words directed to our Heavenly Father” and prayers “too deep for words”.
There are times when our deepest prayers are listening prayers. A quiet time of simply being with our Lord…as if we were sitting with him, experiencing the deep comfort of his presence, waiting expectantly for what he would say to us being open to his ever-wise correction.
Then there is another way to keep a praying heart. All over the world for hundreds of years, Christians have prayed “The Jesus Prayer” – “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” The words are a paraphrase of the humble prayer of the repentant tax collector in Luke 18:9-14. Repeating this prayer often during the day or night, we recognize Jesus’ lordship in our lives, and confession keeps our hearts open..
Lord, help me to have an open heart, so that I might “pray without ceasing. Amen.
Photo courtesy of Ken Jones, copyright 2016