|Prayer A desire to commune with God|
E. Faith Kulothungan
Some years ago I was asked to preach on prayer in an All Night fellowship. When I sat down to prepare the message, the spirit within me was so distressed that I stopped preparing. Sincerely I sought the Lord to help me improve my prayer life. It wasn’t so easy to measure if my prayer life was okay in the sight of God. I began to pray like Daniel three times a day; prayed like Samuel, ‘Lord speak to me’; prayed like Nehemiah, ‘weeping unto the Lord’. It went on and on. Then I took the pen once again to prepare the message. Then on, my life has become a wheel on prayer. Friends, it’s not so hard to write an article on prayer, or prepare a sermon on prayer but it is hard to “PRAY”. Prayer is something much more than a habit that is cultivated. It springs out of deep desire to commune with God.
What is prayer? – In simple terms it is our spirit communicating with God who is in spirit. To begin and end a prayer is not like switching on the fan and switching off the hot iron box. If that’s what prayer is all about how easy it would be! Friends, keeping our spirit on-line (like on-line chatting on Facebook) with the King of kings and the Holy of Holies is the basic. Our God never shuts His system. I recollect Don Moen’s song, “He never sleeps, He never slumbers, He never tires of hearing our prayer.” Our God who transcends all time and space is ever awaiting for us to commune with Him. Paul says, “Pray continually” in I Thess 5:17. Paul puts the preamble, ‘Be joyful’ and postscript, ‘Give thanks’. In this world of contempt and discontent if we learn to be joyful, prayer follows automatically. When we begin to pray our hearts are filled with gratitude giving thanks to Him. Soon to keep the prayer life going in this busy world will become a way of life. It is neither a fairy tale nor in a land of no-where. It happens because we live in the realm of the kingdom of God. When we are leading a life in this fast world of making quick money, it is crucial that we move with wheels on prayer!
A definite plan to begin our prayer life has to be made. Like a child I learnt A-C-T-S, (picked up from a Literature) Adoring God, Confessing sins of commission and omission, Thanksgiving and finally Supplication. Beginning with five minutes each and gradually twenty minutes each becomes an easy task. I deliberately call it a task because a conscious effort has to be taken to discipline ourselves in the area of prayer. Soon the thirst to communicate with God in spirit will lead to developing a meaningful prayer life. Setting apart a time and place that suits every individual is essential. Being a mother I know even the toddler would not disturb the mom seeing her in the particular posture and place.
Attending prayer meetings, fasting prayer fellowship, Prayer seminars etc will help us grow in our prayer life. But they will never substitute one’s personal prayer time. If married , maintaining the family altar will alter the family. Husband and wife praying together (apparently holding hands, not facing walls in different direction) is the power house for the family. Remember the famous quote mostly used in corporate prayers, “when two agree on earth” must begin at home at the family altar. Family prayer follows next. We can give any number of excuses to come together as a family in prayer. How long can excuses survive? Family prayer would become a curse in disguise if the grandparents, old parents, parents-in-law and the extended members of the family are excluded. In our house when we all gather to sing together even our pet dog would push his snout into the grilled gate to join us. To combat the subtle snares of the enemy, the family prayer time is a powerful weapon. It is much easier to build the family than repairing it.
As we learn to commune with God in solitude, at the family altar and along with the family members, the spirit of God will take you to rich mountain top experiences in prayer life. The first step is, ‘Lord, teach me to be at your feet’. The best place I have ever been in all my life is neither the twin tower of Kualalumpur nor the White House in Washington DC, but “being at the feet of Jesus.”