Have you had a chance to read “Why Pray?” Day 6 – Prayer is Traveling with God? If not, please take a minute to do that and come on back. Today’s Bible passage is Psalm 8. Part of that Psalm, specifically verses 3-5, always amaze me, humble me, and remind me that I am important to God all in just a few words:
“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.”
I love to notice “little things” – things other people might overlook or not even see. I remember so clearly a day when the Point of Grace building was being built; the parking lot had been recently finished and we were finally able to park on it. As I was getting into my car after work one day a little bitty flower caught my eye. No landscaping had been done yet so it was an unexpected sight. There, at the very edge of the parking lot, almost under it in fact, was a tiny white flower all by itself in a sea of dirt and asphalt. I wondered how something so pretty could grow in such an inhospitable environment.
Sometimes I feel like I’m a tiny little nothing in a sea of humanity…do you? Then out of the blue, God uses a little flower to remind me that I am important to Him and I will thrive in His Presence. He whispers, “Check out the beauty around you…I made that for you to enjoy. I would love to be a part of your day. How about it?” At that point, I have a choice to make: say no thanks and go about my business or invite Jesus to be present in my comings and goings, even the boring stuff. How amazing is it to know that our God, the Creator of the universe, wants to go to the bank with us…or to visit with us as we fold laundry…or be part of the conversation during coffee break? We were made for intimate connection with Him…we crave it and so does He!
This is where what I’ve always called “drive-by prayers” come into play. Drive-by prayers are the ones prayed when there’s a sense of immediate need. I’m just not very good at setting aside time every day to get into deep prayer and contemplation. I try, my mind wanders off, I chastise myself for losing focus, I try again, my mind wanders…you get the picture. I am, however, very good at praying in the moment: I see a guy in uniform, I pray for protection for him; I see a mom in the grocery with an unruly toddler, I pray for patience for her; I get a text from a friend who is struggling with a decision, I pray for discernment for her. Drive-by prayers! Now, I do believe that God wants deep, contemplative prayer sometimes, and His patience with me as I try and try again is more blessing than I could ever deserve. He lovingly waits as I ramble, listening all the while to my heart when my mind is lollygagging (If you’ve seen the movie “Up”, you’ve seen Doug the dog have his attention captured by a squirrel. Yeah, that’s me). God is just that patient – He knows our weaknesses and works with us anyway.
In “Why Pray?” John DeVries asks if “prayer is your ‘traveling companion’ relationship with God.” I love to think of prayer that way – an “everyday talk” with my Dad! As I travel through my day, I’m free to bring Him praise, ask Him questions, listen for His answers, tell Him I love Him, listen to Him tell me He loves me. It’s a very ebb-and-flow kind of daily prayer. What is your favorite way to pray? Do you appreciate quiet time set aside each day for deep prayer or do you enjoy the “hanging with God” feel…or both??
“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.” Ephesians 6: 18