Prayer is a conflict and wrestling with God, not simply sunning one's self in God. There is no reality without wrestling . . . Serious prayer is not a sweet devotion at the day's dawn or close, but an ingredient of the day's work.
Peter Taylor Forsyth
"Prayer is not an occasional activity; it is a lifestyle."
Paul tells us to "pray without ceasing" (I Thessalonians 5:17). This can be mistaken for a pious activity best left for the spiritual elite. But he was not addressing a handful of all-stars in an esoteric class. He was addressing a young, Gentile church in Roman Macedonia; not the clergy or the monastery. Prayer is an act of faith. In prayer, we use words to entrust every moment and circumstance to a God who has the ability to hear and to respond. Obligatory mealtime and bedtime prayers are a start, but not the fulness.
If we believe in this God, when should we not pray? How shall we sprinkle every hour with such words of trust? Mumbled or screamed, whispered or cried, thought or muttered. Intersperse the day's work with conversation that calls upon the Lord who holds every day.
Come, O Lord. Break into the mundane routines of my day. Let my work not be in vain, but make it your work. In Jesus' name. Amen.
O Lord, there has been much work done in the past year. May last year’s work not be in vain, but bear fruit into other new years. May last year’s labor be a foundation for the coming year’s work. We know that we work in the corner of a much larger house, a house that is being constructed year after year. A house whose completion date is not known to us, but only to You, the Master Foreman, as you work all things for good.
O Lord, let not this past year be wasted. May our work mean something for future times. It’s not that we did something that You couldn’t - only that You said we could. And we are grateful You let us participate in Your work.
O Lord, may last year’s work prove faithful and true, not because we are exceptionally extraordinary, but because your grace allowed us to be. The grace that made our labor true is the same grace that set us to work in the first place. And it’s the same grace that drew us into the house to begin with. By this grace we labor on into another year. And may this coming year’s work not be in vain. Amen.
As a father, there is little else that can warm your affections like your child calling, "Daddy!" It's interesting that the shortest prayer in Scripture is "Abba, Father." (Rom. 8:15; Galatians 4:6). And when asked how to pray, Jesus began, "Our Father . . ."
I've been in a recent season of dryness in terms of my prayer life. I'm just finding it hard to focus. I have found myself returning to the simplest, most childlike prayer in the book, "Abba, Father, Amen." When I don't know what to say or how to say it, I simply call in his direction and shout his name.