Isn’t it funny how people preface a prayer with, “Let us put ourselves in the holy presence of God” like God needs our permission for us to be in His presence?! Perhaps it is just a misquote of “Let us remember that we are in the presence of God.” Regardless, the culture of using either preface seems to imply that when we are not in the process of prayer, we are outside of God’s presence.
The Bible tells us to “pray without ceasing”.
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, KJV)
How is this possible when we have other things to do – jobs to accomplish, events to attend? Paul gives us a clue: rejoice evermore…in everything give thanks. An attitude of joy and thanksgiving in everything we do (doing the groceries, surfing on Facebook, keeping in touch with friends, ministering to others, playing with nieces, cleaning the house, speaking with others) even when we are not down on our knees, with our hands clasped and our eyes closed, counts as prayer.
I grew up in the 80s and read Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret a gazillion times. Margaret didn’t belong to any religion; she had a non-practicing Jewish father and a non-practicing Christian mother. However, she constantly talked to God, including Him in the everyday events of her pre-teen life.
Including God in all that we do – not just our concerns or problems, but even the mundane, everyday, normal things – is something He wants.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
-1 Corinthians 10:31
During the 2002 UAAP season, someone once asked me, “Why bother God about a silly basketball game?”, as if God could ever be bothered???! I was told to save my prayers for bigger concerns. Isn’t it strange?
Stranger still, is that often, our intentions for praying, are not to please Him! Jesus criticized the Pharisees who prayed in order to be praised. It is also disturbing when people are delighted to step into a church building they had never entered in order to “make a wish”. (Since when did God reward people with “wishes” when they visit a new church? Even if it were true, should that be a motivation for you to pray?!) I have also prayed while being distracted about other concerns, such as – Lord, help me to be articulate so these people don’t make fun of my prayer.
Jesus, help me to pray without ceasing. Please teach me to include you in all that I do. I want to know you and share my life with you, and do all that you want me to do for your glory. When I die and knock on heaven’s door, I would love for you to say that you knew me.