Pray (A Lot)

Prayer!
Give me a few minutes to talk with most Christians about their prayer life, and pretty quickly, I find out the difficulty and struggle of prayer most of them face. Here are some helpful words from Benedictine Abbot Dom John Chapman. I had not heard of him prior to seeing this quote in an essay. It is from Chapman's book, Spiritual Letters, page 53.

 

The only way to pray is to pray; and the way to pray well is to pray much.

If one has no time for this, then one must at least pray regularly. 

But the less we pray, the worse it goes.

And if circumstances do not permit even regularity,
then we must put up with the fact that when one does try to pray, one can't pray;
and our prayers will predictably consist of telling this to God.


The Christian life is essentially a life of relationship with God that spills over into every other aspect of life.

A relationship with God means being in conversation with God. God speaks to us above all, in the words of Scripture. We learn to listen and how to hear from God in conversational intimacy through the Scriptures. 

Then we continue in this conversational intimacy as we learn to speak to God. There are times, usually after deep familiarity has been gained about the words of God through years of listening to God in the Scriptures, that we need few words. Still, if prayer is conversation, growth in prayer does not mean the absence of words, but growth in how we use words.

It takes time to learn how to listen and how to speak.
It takes time to learn the conversation of prayer.

Decades ago, a short book was written. Your God is Too Small. The author encouraged a greater, grander and more biblical vision/knowledge of God.

I would like to borrow that phrase and say - our Christianity is too small. Our Christianity is too small because our prayer life is too small. If our prayer conversation remains small, it is inevitable that our Christianity will stay the same.

So join with me and daily ask, "Lord teach us to pray. Lord help us to listen? Lord help us to speak the few, best words that need spoken."

Dom John Chapman, spiritaul letters, the only way to pray is to pray


Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International

BrianRice@lcileaders.org

LCI - helping you pray regularly and even pray much.