The obligatory greeting paragraph and…prayer?

You know that friend or co-worker who gets so into their “stuff” or “work mode” that they remove all personal connection and interaction from their communication?

Hypothetical example… Subject line: copies   Body of text: Can you make those copies of page 17 by 2pm?

I mean, not even a “Hey There!” or something like that. Just slam into the request. It’s even worse when it’s on the phone. But, many of us have gotten used to the lack of personal touch and implied focus on being efficient. I catch myself doing it very often when I’m running to class and have a question to pose to a co-worker as I dash off. You can’t always take the time. I understand that.

We all probably have been in this situation though… You’re writing a private Facebook message to a friend you haven’t talked to in a while, or have to make a phone call to someone that you know has the answer, but you just haven’t had the opportunity to connect in a while. There is the obligatory “catch up” paragraph or 5min update. Come on, admit it, you’ve written it thinking, “I just need the information, but I don’t want to be a jerk.” It’s because we care. We really DO want to catch up, but at that minute, you’re focused on the task at hand. Maybe the short tidbit can tide us over until we have more time. I think that’s courtesy and we all appreciate it. I know I do.

But should we do it with prayer? I just had a prayer request sent to me a few minutes before this post and I just stopped my work at my computer, jumped right in with the request with God and spilled my guts about it.

Then I paused.

I imagined myself standing in the presence of my almighty, powerful, creator-of-the-universe, loving God and I just jumped in without at least saying, “Hey God…” I felt like I should’ve at least adored Him for His GREATNESS and kindness for even listening to me. Or maybe I should catch up a bit on the things I’ve forgotten to tell Him lately…

Then I remembered a poster that I asked Emily to create for me a couple years ago. It says, “Pray Continually: God is Faithful” and it’s based on 2 verses: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.  |   Isaiah 62:6 O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually. Take no rest, all you who pray to the LORD.

I realized that God wants our prayer life to be a continuous conversation. It’s not just at specific times, but it’s at ANY TIME. He’s always there and waiting. Sadly, He may become the friend we haven’t talked to in weeks or even months, but He’s unlike all the other friends who haven’t been keeping up with you. He’s been with you the whole time knowing every thought, worry, joy, experience and wanting to hear about it all.

When you imagine prayer as a time with an amazing friend, then you want to catch up and spend some time talking about life. I wouldn’t call it obligatory, but it’s definitely worth your time! Any time with God is, because He just wants to hear from us. If prayer is a continuous, daily, hourly occurrence, we’re sharing our life and God’s experiencing it all with us, so we can just jump right back into the conversation with anything at anytime. What an wonderful relationship that is.

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