“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18
You can have different reactions to someone saying that we need to pray. Now, very few people jump up and down with excitement over an invitation to pray. For some reason, people seem to like to ask me to pray about something for them. The assumption is that I’ll say OK and move on. But being me, I do something different. Something unexpected. I change the request into action. I say, “Of course. Let’s pray right now.”
That throws some people off. They thought that I’d put the prayer request in my pocket and pray somewhere else. Pray some other time. But my thinking is that if we pray right then, they know that I prayed.
Pray in the Spirit
Being told that we are to pray on all occasions is a nice, general way of saying that we are to reach out to God at different points along the way. Like praying every time a commuter bus or subway comes to a stop. And that’s a nice way of looking at it.
But I think it’s trying to say something a little bit different. Yes, we absolutely are to pray on all occasions. All the time. At every stop along the path of life. Constant, intimate communication with our heavenly Father is the foundation for all of life. But not all of life is the same.
Sometimes life is just rolling along. Sometimes it seems like life is going really well without a lot of work or trouble. Sometimes life just seems to be stuck. Going nowhere. Sometimes life is hard. An uphill climb. Everything takes more energy. More concentration. More effort.
And then there are those times just before something big is about to happen. You believe that a change is getting close. Things are coming to a head. There is a sense of anticipation that life is about to come to a fork in the road. This is just the right moment and situation for something to happen. Something to change.
And that’s how we’re supposed to pray. Pray with anticipation. Pray with excitement. God is in control, and no one can stand against him. When he says that he’s going to do something, it gets done. Period. Since God is in control, things are going to change. And we can depend on God acting and changing things.
Yes, sometimes life can see dull. Even boring. One day followed by another where you don’t see anything dramatic changing. Your life has a pattern. But pattern is just another, fancier word for rut. You’ve done the same thing over and over so many times that you’re stuck and can’t seem to get out.