Keep the Conversation Going: Relationship
Prayer as religious ritual is difficult to maintain. It requires constant self-motivation. But if prayer is your opportunity to talk to the God you love, then you will keep coming back.
In writing to Christians who were suffering because of their faith in Jesus, Peter reminds them of why they are holding strong: “Though you have not seen him, you love him” (1 Pet. 1:8). They were able to keep going because of their love for Jesus. This generation of Christians had never met Jesus, but that did not hinder their love.
In Psalm 27, David says the one thing he desires is to dwell with the Lord forever. This is the kind of longing that drives a consistent prayer life. Prayer for prayer’s sake rings hollow because it is hollow. But if prayer is our connection to the God we love but have never seen, then prayer becomes natural, conversational, and non-negotiable.
Conversation is inherent in relationship. Since prayer is what we label our conversations with God, prayer is inherent in our relationship with God. It’s probably not too much to say that if there is no prayer, then there is no relationship with God. The converse is also true: If there is no relationship with God, there will be no prayer.
Prayer begins when we follow our impulse to talk with God. Prayer becomes habitual in our lives when we foster those impulses, when our relationship with God becomes fully conversational. Prayer will only be a burden when your longing to speak with God disappears.
Note: As with any ongoing practice, consistency is difficult to develop. Consider using the Echo Prayer app to organize your prayers and remind yourself to pray regularly. Echo is available in the iTunes and Google Playstores.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:3-9 KJV
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. One thing have I desired of the Lord , that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord , and to enquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord . Hear, O Lord , when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord , will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. Teach me thy way, O Lord , and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord : be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord .
Psalms 27:1-14 KJV