“Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: ‘Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You’ve concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that’s the way you like to work.’
“Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly.” (Matthew 11:25-27, MSG)
A Praying Life
Most of us try to have a prayer life and feel guilty that we don’t spend enough time praying, especially for the needs of others. This is not the right way to think about prayer! Don’t seek a prayer life — seek a praying life, a life permeated with prayer. In other words, learn to practice God’s presence.
Jesus shows us what a praying life is like. Routinely he got alone to pray, often for hours at a time. But his intimate conversation with the Father didn’t stop when he had work to do. He said, “I only do what I see the Father doing” (John 5:19, par).
In Matthew 11 we have an example of Jesus at work in a prayerful way. He was explaining to those following him why some people rejected him and his message. It was getting heated. Until… “Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer.” Then infused with his Abba’s love, “Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly.”
If you limit your prayerfulness to “quiet times” and church activities and don’t include your ordinary life with problems to solve, work to do, and people to see then you’ll live largely separated from God’s grace.
“Abruptly break into prayer” — even if for just a moment — as often as you can remember and Abba Father’s tenderness toward others will flow through you naturally.
Practice God’s Presence
Anxiety, more than anything else, is what distracts us from appreciating the joy of God’s presence with us. Worry is a form of meditation, but the wrong kind! Don’t worry — wonder! Try turning your worries into prayers. To help you practice God’s presence you need to keep God’s Word in your mind. For instance, you could try a simple, but deep Breath Prayer from “Bible Prayers to Live Worry Free.”
Jesus, thank you for your powerful example of a praying life. Help us Lord God to grow in a conversational relationship with you. Teach us to “abruptly break into prayer” throughout the day’s work and activities.
It’s an “Easy Yoke”
I love this! Don’t you? I’m so drawn to Jesus’ example of attunement to the Father — what he called living in an “easy yoke” — that I wrote a book on it to go deeper. It’s become the story of my life and my daily joy to keep pressing in closer to Jesus who invites me into his life of prayerfulness.
It’d be a blessing for you to join me in learning to live in Jesus’ rhythms of grace. Each chapter helps you deal with stress better, including using Breath Prayers from the Bible. Most of all, each page draws us closer to Christ!