“Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” (Isaiah 43:7)
If there is one thing that God hates, it is to be taken for granted. Perhaps hate is not a strong enough word, those who despise Him, reject Him, rebel against and take Him for granted will be cast into the Lake of Fire, in the pit of despair and pain to feel His wrath for all eternity.
These thoughts entered into my mind as my lovely wife read our devotional for the evening, for it was on prayer, or more specifically about how most of us see ourselves as perhaps not failures in that task, but not as proficient as we either would like to be or know we should be. “Pray without ceasing.” 1st Thessalonians 5:17 is the verse I quoted when she was finished and then I said something similar to what was read by her, none of us prays enough.
I believe that most who have been born-again when that word “prayer” is mentioned see themselves alone somewhere, or perhaps in a church or Bible study setting with their eyes closed, heads bowed and hands together. But if we are to pray without ceasing that posture was not what was intended by the Lord. Not to parrot what was written for us to read tonight, but when sickness comes, when hardship, trials and tribulations are at our door, that is when many feel an urge to pray, to seek the face of the Almighty for deliverance. Not, sadly, when they are traveling down a familiar road, when at work or play, not in the everyday what I will term mundane actions of daily life.
A few years ago, I was set on a path of contemplation, of, as best as I can reveal it to you, a path of seeking the face of God, and I have often wondered, is contemplation of the Lord prayer? The moments when I am not doing so are almost non-existent anymore, questions lead to infinitely more questions. “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” John 1:16 comes to mind here. But is that prayer?
I have what some might call foundational prayers, for more wisdom, truth, Spiritual discernment, I offer prayer for my lovely wife and for those I meet in person or online, these are the “asking for something” prayers.
“Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.” (Psalm 57:5)
Praise is prayer as well, giving thanks in all circumstances, for His daily blessings and promises, even these letters in some way are so, for I start every one of them with a short prayer, that He would be glorified. But this contemplation, those thoughts about the Scriptures, His will for my life, how to serve Him in a more profitable way, doing all to rightfully divide the words of truth, is that also prayer?
“When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.” (Psalm 27:8)
I cannot spend the entire day reading the Scriptures, I do not know if anyone could, there are tasks in this world and for the glory of God to be fulfilled, nor can I keep my mind on Him continuously, the battle with the flesh, my old sinful nature knows few respites. But those moments when I am thinking about a particular verse, comparing it to others that are relative to it, when I am considering His ways or His majesty, when I see the nails being driven into His hands and feet in my mind, when I contemplate Job’s pain and suffering, Jeremiah’s frustrations, Mary’s elation or Peter weeping bitterly, is that prayer?
If one is consumed by Him, perhaps it is, I do not know.