Breathing is important. Try holding in your breathe. Go ahead. Try it…..hold it a little bit longer….a bit longer…do you feel you lungs starting to burn? Do you feel that urge, that very urge to open your mouth or your nostrils and just inhale so deeply? Do you feel the everliving urge to live if you don’t breathe? Okay. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Now go back to your normal breathing. You’re paying attention to your breathing right now aren’t you? I know I am.
Every breath you take is life. Every breath you take is living once more for that few seconds. Now, think about this: If you breathed a lot more now, does that mean you don’t have to breathe as much later today? If you breathed a lot right now does that mean you can hold off breathing for another day? Or a week. If you took in huge deep breaths, would you, could you, might you last until next Sunday? Probably not.
Now, take that into consideration when you think about prayer. We place prayer at a low priority, yet prayer itself is to be held at a high level. It is our best and greatest means of communicating with God. Prayer should be, and must be, like breathing.
“Pray Continually” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Many times we think of prayer, we think of “rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub.” We think of something we say right before we eat. Or we think of it as something we do in times of trouble. To pray is an all encompassing type of thing. It is something that envelopes all of life itself. It envelopes every aspect of what we are to do. Prayer is a focus. It is a meditation. Too many times when we think of meditation, we think of emptying ourselves out into nothingness. Prayer is just the opposite. It is filling of ourselves, focusing on God, focusing on the power of the Holy Spirit, focusing on Jesus the author and perfector of our faith.
And we are to do so continually. We are to do so unceasingly. We are to do so until it is like breathing. It is natural. It is part of us.
Now, unlike breathing, it takes practice to do this. It takes practice to pray continually. It takes discipline. But it can and needs to be done.
Try this again. Breathe in. Inhale. Pray for the God the Holy Spirit to be present. Now exhale. Pray that God the Father is present. Inhale. Pray that God the Son, Jesus, walks with you now. Exhale. Pray that you see you’re place in God’s world today. Inhale. Pray for the God, the Holy Spirit, to be present. And continue. Practice this. And breathe.
Take time each morning, each afternoon, each evening to do this. And then ask God to show you how he answers your prayers. Sometimes it is with a yes. Sometimes it is with a wait. Other times it is with a no. But he will answer your prayers.
Focus. Breathe. Pray.