Pray Without Ceasing: My Quest to Pray Throughout My Day
I don’t think I’ll ever spend the majority of my day in God’s presence like Brother Lawrence or pray nonstop like Paul. But I can learn to pray more often, so I seek to remain open to my surroundings, looking for reasons to pray.
“God, I fear for his safety. Watch over him and protect him; guide him in making wise decisions…” Then I realize I’m praying for a character in a TV show. I’m not sure if I should laugh about or celebrate my spontaneous impulse to pray. Interestingly, I’ve caught myself doing this more than once. At least I’m becoming more mindful of praying. Happily, I do this for real people, too.
I also sometimes pray as I dream. Although some might claim the opposite, that I merely dreamed I prayed, I believe God hears my asleep prayers just like my awake ones.
Other times I’d dream about a person and God would prompt me to pray for him or her when I woke up. Now, I no longer wait for his nudge: if I dream about you, I’m going to pray for you when I wake up – and maybe when I’m dreaming, too.
Another prayer trigger is email, which I send and receive all day long. After composing each message, I strive to say a concise prayer for the recipient as I click “send.” Of course, some communications warrant much more prayer than a quick request for God’s blessing, favor, or guidance. Sometimes my words require prayer as I type.
Yard work is another great time to pray—or at least to try. It doesn’t take much thought to mow lawn or pull weeds, allowing me to focus on spiritual matters. Sometimes I’m successful and other times, not so much.
I’ve also learned to pray whenever I come upon an accident, see the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle, or hear a siren. Many people have needs at those moments, and I can do my part, helping by praying.
I continue to look for reasons to pray, desiring to intercede more often and seek God throughout my day. However, I no longer catch myself praying for a character on a TV show—and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or bad.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.