Have you ever felt guilty because you did not have long stretches of time to send lengthy prayers to God? Or have you felt condemnation because your prayer life was inconsistent? Remember God hears the short prayers you offer throughout your day too, like while you’re driving, exercising, working, or eating. And yes, He’ll answer them, too.
Incorporating brief prayers into your daily life will put you in frequent contact with God, which will make your prayer life rich and full, no matter how busy you are. Scripture says we are to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17). The only way to pray without ceasing is to develop an attitude and a mindset of prayer that causes you to communicate with God constantly throughout your day.
Remember prayer is a religious term that simply means to communicate with God. As will any form of clear and healthy communication, prayer is to be two-way communication between you and God. It is all about your personal relationship with Christ. Here are some ways you can pray as you go through your daily life.
First, Recognize the opportunities. Know that everything that comes your way is an opportunity for you to pray about something. Realize that tremendous power you have to change the world for the better through your prayers, and decide to use that power to the fullest. Ask God to give you His perspective on the people and situations you encounter so you’ll be motivated to pray for them.
Second, don’t stop “communicating”. As with any healthy relationship, good communication does not always require words. Think of prayer as something you can do continuously, without stopping. See it as ongoing communication with God. Remember that God is always present with you. He knows your thoughts, motives, attitudes, etc. Aim to “check in” with Him often with thoughts, single sentence prayers, etc.
Third, be natural. Understand that prayer should come as naturally to you as breathing does. Don’t worry about trying to follow any type of formula for prayer; instead, simply pray in the way that works best for you at a particular time. Be assured that God will hear your prayers even if you don’t go to a special place, kneel, close your eyes, speak your prayer aloud, use elaborate language, or pray for a certain amount of time. Relax and focus just on communicating with God in whatever way works best for you.
Fourth, be creative. Realize that prayer shouldn’t be boring; it should be enjoyable and interesting. Rather than praying about the same old subjects over and over, pray about new topics, as well. Instead of using the same format for your prayers, mix up the order and change the style for variety. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you pray, so the process will be exciting.
Let Satan’s masterstroke is to use complacency, laziness, lack of discipline, etc…to cause the Church to lay aside prayer as a weapon. Satan does not mind what we do as long as we leave the power of Almighty God out of it.
Do you know folks who spread rumors without having any knowledge of the real truth? Do you know folks who seem to find pleasure in making stuff up just so they can try to pull someone down, make someone else look bad or to make themselves feel important by knowing some juicy piece of information? Do you know people who try to twist information around to use for their advantage?
Scripture speaks about gossip and those who spread rumors; “A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.” (Pro 16:28) “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.” (Pro 20:19) “Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.” (Pro 26:20) Biblically speaking, those who spread gossip will be held accountable by God.
I heard a great illustration of gossip not along ago; “Mildred, the church gossip, and self-appointed monitor of the church’s morals, kept sticking her nose in to other people’s business. Several members did not approve of her extra curricular activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence. Mildred made a mistake, however, when she accused Frank, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his old pickup parked in front of the town’s only bar one afternoon. She emphatically told Frank (and several others) that everyone seeing it there would know what he was doing.”
“Frank, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment and just turned and walked away. He didn’t explain, defend, or deny… He said nothing. Later that evening, Frank quietly parked his pickup in front of Mildred’s house… Walked home… And left it there all night!!!” You gotta love Frank!
The “rumor mill” of any community only exists because people want to hear gossip. If we all stopped listening to it, and made folks be accountable when they told us information that was untrue the rumor mill would dry up. Most rumors / gossip are made up of mostly lies. If you hold the “lie carriers” accountable for telling you stuff that is not true, they will stop doing it.
Satan is going to stir up as many lies as possible. He is always predictable. He uses the same people over and over again to stir other people with untruths, half truths, as well as misunderstood and misapplied truth. If traced back to the original sources, all gossip could be traced back to a small group of “sources”… everyone else is a “carrier”… but there will be only a few “original sources” that start the rumor mill.
The gossip problem is a spiritual problem. Even those who call themselves “Christ-followers” can be a part of the problem. True Christ-followers need to set the pace by refusing to be a part of the rumor mill. The enemy will always use gossip as a method of control, intimidation, and manipulation.
Be a part of the solution. Let’s confront the rumor mill whenever it rises, especially when it is tearing someone down. Always remember, those who spread gossip TO you will also spread gossip ABOUT you eventually.