Alexander Graham Bell won the first patent for a telephone in 1876, a device that fundamentally changed the way we communicate. And for more than 125 years, the telephone was used for one reason: to make phone calls. In June of 2007, though, that paradigm shifted when Apple released the first iPhone. The phone introduce us to the possibility of a multi-faceted personal communication device. From phone calls to text messaging to social media to the way we consume entertainment, smartphones have become an integral part of how we manage our lives, our businesses, and consume entertainment.
Similarly, many of us still use prayer for a particular purpose: to make our requests known to God in times of crisis. This reason for communicating with God isn’t bad. But I want to invite you to imagine prayer in a new way: more as a way to process life with God, than as a way to talk to God in times of crisis.
Imagine prayer as less of an old rotary-dial landline phone and more of an iPhone – a personal communications tool. Prayer can become an expression of awareness that God is alive and at work in the world around us. It’s the conduit for messaging and receiving messages from God, a way to connect with him and receive all manner of information from the Creator of the universe. And if you’ve never experienced prayer this way, it’s not hard to learn. You have a God who wants nothing more than to teach you.
If I’m certain of anything it’s this: God wants to teach us how to pray. He is a personal God; a God of love, who wants to connect and communicate with us. This kind of connection and communion, though, won’t happen overnight. It takes daily commitment.
Far too often prayer exists primarily in the realm of dutiful religious obligation – dry, powerless and inert, expressed in boredom or fear more than anticipation. Do you pray only when the chips are down? When there’s a mild life crisis? Is prayer relegated to the family meal, or to that nervous space just before the big test at school, or as you walk into the conference room for your annual review at work? These are all good times to communicate with the Creator of the universe, of course, but God doesn’t want to just hear from us before dinner or a test, or during the scarier times of our lives; he also wants to hear from us throughout the day. He wants to connect with us in all the moments of life, big and small. How do I know? Because Jesus modeled this truth.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Allen Jackson