Friday, March 2, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: Prayer

On Prayer
A devotional by Lisa Lickel

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)

"Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, unuttered or expressed…"~James Montgomery, 1818.

My husband and I recently transitioned from the community in which we’d lived all of our married life across the state to the community we’d planned to live upon retirement. The move meant making many changes, not the least of which is finding a new home for worship. We are not church hoppers or shoppers, so this dance is an awkward one for us at best. There are no familiar congregations here, and we are forced out of our traditional rut. The challenge is good for me, even if it’s hard to admit.

This year I am honored to join the community of God is Love. I will share some of the lessons I am learning as I retrain my flabby spiritual life by looking at my faith with fresh eyes. I am learning to appreciate new spiritual disciplines, the first of which is prayer.

Ever since my college days with a campus ministry organization, small groups, books like Ole Hallesby’s Prayer, poems, Bible study, and learning acronyms that encompass what well-rounded prayer should look like (Praise Repent Ask Yourself, and such), coming up with formulas has never been a problem. But have I made prayer, the communion, that intimate, vulnerable, and honest sharing of myself with God, a natural means of expressing who I am? “Make my life a prayer to you,” sung by the late Keith Green has been a mantra, but am I living it?

Deliberate communication is shared interchange. Half of prayer is listening with intention—not listening while rehearsing my turn to speak. It is reacting to what I have heard. It is a moment by moment choice of practicing the with-God life. I should not be able to separate my praying self from my going-through-the-motions self. This is praying without ceasing where giving thanks and being joyful is God’s will. This is showing love.

My Prayer: Lord, thank you that you love me by listening, thank you that you love me by speaking. Help me to hear you in every part of life and share your love.

Author Bio:
Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives in the rolling hills of western Wisconsin. 

A multi-published and award-winning novelist, she also writes short stories and radio theater. Lisa is an avid book reviewer, blogger, a freelance editor, and workshop leader. 

She is a member of Chicago Writers Association and part of Novel-in-Progress Bookcamp and Writing Retreat, Inc., mentoring writers from across the United States of America.

Connect with Lisa:
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