Matt 21:13; Acts 1:14; Romans 8:22-27; 1 Thess. 5:16-18
After reading some sentences from chapter 4 in “the U-turn church” which talk about prayer being “essential” to a U-turn, and how the author and congregation began learning a new form of prayer, I focused on this sentence:
I began to pray conversationally to God, out loud, eyes open, always trusting that God was listening.
I told a bit of my journey of moving away from prayer being for specific times and places and postures to a more “all the time” prayer mode. I told of how a scene from Fiddler on the Roof was instrumental in beginning to bring me out of my limited thinking. We then looked at the Thessalonians passage, and I adapted it to read “Rejoice always, breathe continutally, give thanks…” We breathe without thinking. In a similar way there is value in learning to keep our relationship with Jesus, Father, and Spirit alive by having praying become as natural as breathing. I pointed out how Spirit and breath are closely associated in scripture. “While I breathe I pray” as the song says.
Continuing with the breathing analogy by thinking about the opposite of breathing in Spirit and relationship with God. Not being on constant touch with God then becomes “holding your spiritual breath.” We turn blue and lifeless, though in a less obvious way than if we stopped breathing oxygen.
Breathing is also a two-way activity. Inhale and exhale. Most of our prayers are infrequent and are long exhales.
I reflected on prayer being an act of intentional submission
And then I told of how prayerfulness can be a way to gain a God’s eye view as well.
We have the beginnings of a yearning for a U-turn here. We know we need the fire in our bellies of Holy Zeal, and a fresh excitement and urgency about the good news of salvation through Jesus so we can be “on fire” as we say “for the gospel.” Prayer is the oxygen that feeds that fire.
May we find ways of tapping into that oxygen afresh, so God’s glory can shine more and more through us here at CCC.