What is Prayer?

During these months of worry and my physical discomfort my wife has started a practice. She will come into my office and just sit there. Her goal, just to be near me or hoping a conversation develops. She knows I am working on the computer so she will come, sit near to me and wait. I will look over my shoulder a couple of times and finally say “Yes dear?” (Usually not those words but close enough). Soon enough, I am off the computer and we are chatting away about life routines and how I am doing. A few days ago an idea popped into my head, what she is doing in those actions is prayer.

Prayer is when we make time out of our day to go sit in the throne room of God just in hopes to have a conversation. Sometimes it feels like I sit there as God is busy with universal events. So I wait. Then He turns his attention to me and there is a feeling of comfort and communication. Yet other times I am greeted with “Where have you been? I’ve been waiting for you.” Then we talk about life routines and how I am doing.

I can only imagine if my wife walked into my office, handed me a list of ‘honey do’s’ and then walked out. How many times have I done that with my God? After the brief “God glorifying” salutations, and the brief admission of sin, I hand God my list and turn around to leave with an Amen. God has the paper and asks me “Let’s talk about these.” “Sorry God, I’m busy. You got the list that is important to me, shouldn’t you be working on it rather than talking?”

My prayer life has changed as I have gotten older and farther away from the corporate training which I received. Just like a good marriage. You try to follow books and advice but they only take you so far. Sooner or later you find out that you and your wife are unique and the books are just the basics. An example were the early prayers for someone I cared for and their salvation. I would pray “God save Steve” and then a few reasons why He should. God’s response usually is “So do I.” What was I really asking God to do? Now, when I pray I say “God, how is Steve today?” and wait for Him to answer. Inevitably something will come into my mind about Steve. Our conversation has begun. From this conversation comes my marching orders. Something particular I can do to be used by God to reach Steve. It is no longer a honey-do list, it is a team collaboration.

Prayer is getting to the heart of the other individual. Go quietly to the throne room and sit there. If God does not answer immediately, contemplate the being of God as you look at him busily working. As of now I am looking over my shoulder and see my wife quietly waiting to talk.

3 thoughts on “What is Prayer?”

  1. That is a unique but very profound way to look at prayer. Your wife has to be willing to “waste time” waiting for you to turn your attention to her. Of course it is not a waste of time. It is an investment of time with the payoff being an intimate conversation with you. Too often I am in a hurry to finish my prayer time to get on with the rest of my day. I need to change my perspective.

  2. That is a great way to approach prayer, stir it up, taste/sample it, and bask in it. Your wife is very wise! I love to sit in quiet trying to empty my thoughts just to hear what God is telling me. As I walk through my day, sometimes doing something rather dumb, I look up and ask God “I hope you didn’t see that” lol and then we’ll talk about it. God is so good, and such a tremendous, glorious Father!

  3. I really like that analogy. Oftentimes while working at home I’ll have ear buds in and my wife will peek in and pause until I reassure her I’m not on the phone.

    I do my best to be an active listener each night yet invariably as we lay in bed waiting for sleep the things that are buried in her heart begin to come out and we can talk it through if I’m asked otherwise I do my best to just listen.

    I find my best times in prayer with our Lord are during those quiet times as well.

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