There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God.
I pray all the time. In fact, I can’t not pray! “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances,” Paul commanded the church in Thessalonica, “for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV®). Praying continually is God’s will. Why? Because only through prayer can we remain in constant communication with God, allowing us to witness the glory and power of the Almighty unleashed in our lives, something He fervently desires for each of us to experience.
Ever since I was itty-bitty I remember praying. I started with rote prayers before bed, embraced the rosary and graduated to powerful prayers let loose with compassion during bouts of intense spiritual warfare. But what is prayer, exactly? And why should we pray at all?
From the time I was a child I knew prayer was how we communicated with God. As my understanding matured, I dropped the almost exclusive use of memorized prayer and transitioned into a true conversation with God. Now you can’t shut me up! I mean, I can wake up from a dead sleep and fall instantly into a running dialog with the Creator. And in those dialogs I’ve received amazing insights, powerful truths and supernatural strength to persist in my journey.
Prayer is how we lift our hearts, our minds and our beings up to our Daddy, a sacrifice of time and worship to engage with Him, to seek Him out, to let Him in. Prayer is practical, an opportunity for us to not only worship, but to intercede on behalf of others, to express gratitude, to ask for our heart’s desires. Prayer is an opportunity to seek guidance, receive orientation and get direction.
Prayer is dialogue, and we need to approach the throne with not only confidence, but with an open heart to receive an answer to our most honest supplications. If our request is sincere, aligns with God’s will and is asked with right motives, then God is all too happy to grant our petitions. But we need to listen. And we need to receive it.
“Many people falsely believe that if you pray, God will bless you,” wrote Matthew Kelly in A Call to Joy. “God will bless you if you live what you discover in prayer, because when we live what we discover in prayer we become one with God. And when we are one with God, all that is His becomes ours.” Did you catch that? Prayer goes both ways: we ask, God answers, but it’s what we do with the answer that determines the blessing.
Do you pray? If not, it’s not too late to start. Just step out and ask God to teach you how. If you do pray, have you developed your prayer life into a habit, a running dialog with the One Who desires to talk to you more than anyone else in the universe? If not, offer everything you do as a prayer to Him. Offer your body as a living sacrifice, as Paul told the church in Rome, holy and pleasing to God. You don’t need to fold your hands, get down on your knees, chant, or burn incense. No, all God desires is your heart and the sincere yearning to talk to Him.
Copyright ©2015 by David C. Hughes
 Kelly, Matthew. A Call to Joy: Living in the Presence of God. Beacon Publishing, 1999. 101.