Pray for ALL Occasions 2/7/18

LightHouse Devotional Week 6 Day 4

Pray for ALL Occasions                                        2/7/2018

Ephesians 6:18

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

I grew up in a rather conservative Catholic home in which prayer was very formal and impersonal. This never settled well with me; on my own I talked to Jesus as if He were my best friend, because He is.  On occasion, a family member or a friend caught me talking to Jesus, and I was scolded.  A friend’s mother once told me I was being disrespectful to the Lord and would go to hell for thinking I could speak with such familiarity to Christ.  But I didn’t stop, I simply became more secretive about my conversations with Jesus.  I hated being so private about my prayer and as an adult I sought out a church that would embrace me and my beliefs.

Prayer time, along with worship time – we all know I love worshipping the Lord! – is the most important part of my day.   I start and end each day in prayer, with a sincere “thank you”: thank you for allowing me to wake up today, thank you for the loved ones that crossed my path today, thank you for helping me make it through my day.  Throughout the day, I pray.  When I am joyful, I bless the Lord.  When I am sad, I ask the Lord for comfort.  When I am afraid, I ask the Lord to remove my fears and let me feel His presence.

I pray for my family – even (especially) those who choose to not have a relationship with me. I pray for my friends. I pray for those who have judged, rejected, or hurt me. I pray over my service dog, who came to me as an answered prayer.  I pray for my church, my community, my nation, and the world.  I pray for missionaries whom I know and those whom I don’t know.  I pray about the weather.  And I pray for myself.  In short, I pray for anything and everything that matters to me!

My prayer is informal, conversational, which still bothers relatives.  When Mom was in her last hours (I had been her caregiver in my home while she battled metastasized breast cancer), I called her older sister, asking her to pray with me.  When I began talking with Jesus, my aunt became quite upset, asked me what I thought I was doing, and hung up when I responded saying I was praying.  She had wanted to recite the Lord’s Prayer while I had needed a personal, comforting conversation with my Lord.

How do you pray?  Do you guard your words?  Do you wonder if God thinks your requests are silly?  Do you recite a prayer memorized during childhood with little comprehension of the meaning behind those words?  God wants a relationship with you, with all of us.  He isn’t interested in semantics.  He does not judge your appeals.  He does not sit on his throne with a limited number of answered prayers to pass out to a lucky few who pray “properly”.  He is generous and loving.  He wants to grant your heart’s desires.  He wants to hear from you.

So pray!  Pray in earnest.  Pray with emotion.  Let the tears flow.  Yell if you feel compelled.  If the words won’t come, mumble; He knows your heart.  No prayer is too big or complicated and no prayer is too small or trivial.  He is Almighty!  He created the heavens and the earth.  He created you!  With Him, nothing is impossible.  So pray …all the time.

~Heather Kvaternik

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