Articles and thoughts by Steve Green.
One of the features on my iPhone is that text messages are displayed as an ongoing conversation. For instance, I can select my son’s name and see the exchanges we’ve had since we began texting. (Is that really a verb?) Even though there may be spaces between our communications, the screen shows it as one long talk.
I received a quick follow up email from a friend and in the subject line it simply said, “and…” It was an extension of our previous conversation. “And” is a conjunction, functioning as a connector between words, phrases, clauses or sentences. Among other uses, it implies continuation.
When Paul said, “pray without ceasing”, I think he was encouraging us to remain in a continuing conversation with God. This past weekend I bumped into an old acquaintance while waiting for a flight. He was in the middle of a phone conversation, using one of those earpieces with a microphone. You know the kind of device where the person doesn’t look like they are on the phone, but just talking out loud? (I admit it does appear a bit strange.) When we saw each other, he started talking to me. I suppose the person he had been talking to understood what was happening and didn’t need an explanation for the interruption. We chatted for a couple of minutes and when we said goodbye he just picked up the phone conversation as if there had been no break. First, I marveled at the patience of the person on the other end of the phone! Then I wondered if that is what prayer should look like during our day. Sure, there are regular times set aside to pray, but to be in an “unceasing” conversation with God will necessarily require many interruptions, pauses and spaces. That is a natural part of life. At the end of the day, if we could see a condensed listing of our prayers, the expressions of praise and thanks, the cries for help, and the concerns expressed for the needs of others, it would appear as one extended conversation. God certainly understands the attention required by our daily tasks and honors the diligence given to our work. He is not offended by pauses or spaces, but instead is attentive to our voices and welcomes us each day to carry on the conversation of prayer.
16 Comments »