Tuesday, October 18, 2005

6. Ways and Means of Prayer

"praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching to this very thing with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." (Eph 6:18)

No kind of prayer is disallowed. Generally speaking, conversation with God in every form is acceptable; that is, talking with God requires no one posture, circumstance, place or time. What is disqualified however is mindless, meaningless prayer. Though the Spirit intercedes with groaning does not mean we just mystically "open up" in something we call "prayer" and let the Spirit do the rest. We don't close our eyes and go for the warm fuzzy. God would no more pay attention to this rude interruption of true prayerfulness than you or I would pay attention to someone who steps uninvited into a dialogue only to deliver blank stares. Prayer is not a thoughtful contemplative sigh that "only God understands". Prayer is not just breating in and out thinking that something spiritual is taking place.

In prayer, there will be a place or time when we "run out" of words--but this is where we get to listen in our insufficient dependence on Him.

The all-encompassing nature of prayer is specific, involving every opportunity to exploit every available kind of persistent and persevering constancy with God: acknowledging, confessing, imploring, asking, thanking, praising, interceding, listening as the Holy Spirit enables.

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