In this weeks Monday Minute, Muriel shares with us 3 Secrets she has discovered to praying without ceasing. The visual she uses for her prayer circles is so helpful for remembering the importance of our prayers.
How to Keep on Praying through Prayer Circles
by Muriel Gregory
Pray like this: Our Father in Heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. (Matthew 6:9 NLT)
Pray without ceasing… I remember the challenge. I also recall the frustration of not knowing how to pray all the time. How was I supposed to do that when a million other things were begging for my attention?
I am grateful for the wise teachers and mentors who have crossed my path through the years. PWOC bible studies and prayer groups have sharpened my understanding of prayer. Life, however, has been the prompter for the majority of my “on the spot prayers.”
New orders….. pray
Promotion list…. pray
Teenager driving…. pray and pray some more
I would pour out my fears, anxieties, worries, and requests to God. Then, peace would swaddle my heart like a cozy blanket.
Prayer and Praise
Along the way, I learned prayer also means presenting my thanks for the many blessings in my life. A small acknowledgment of the provisions God pours in my daily activities.
Door to door PCS (yes they do happen)… praise
Potty training success… praise
Great neighbors at the new duty station… praise
A wedding anniversary and he is home with me… praise
A friend’s sweet note in dark times… praise
One of the things I love the most about God is his relentless pursuit of my heart. He longs to be with you and me. Prayer is the portal to a deeper intimacy with him. The more I practice, the deeper I go. The deeper I go, the closer I get to him.
Come close to God, and he will come close to you.” (James 4:8 NLT)
Praying Without Ceasing through Prayer Circles
After many years of going deeper in prayer, I have found the secret of praying without ceasing. Let’s call it prayer circles. I want you to picture Russian Nesting Dolls. To get to the smallest doll, you need to open the big one first. Let’s do that.
The biggest doll aka the outer prayer circle is the prayer you whisper to acknowledge God’s presence right here, right now. It is the listening prayer. Stay there a while and breathe him in.
“Our Father in Heaven.”
God is omnipresent. With us everywhere. All the time. Yet I can fill a whole day with chores, activities, friends, and family but forget to recognize his presence there with me.
The second doll is the missional prayer.
“May your kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
God is a missional God. One of the benefits of being adopted in his family is the privilege to join him on his mission to share his love and care. God sent Jesus. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit sends you. Like a good soldier, we need to pay attention to our marching orders.
Joining God’s Mission
This prayer comes right after acknowledging his presence. It looks something like that. “God, I know you are in this place. I realize you are at work here. How can I join you?” A person will come to mind, and I will make a point to reach out. At my favorite coffee shop, he will nudge me toward a person. Nothing complicated. Sometimes a smile. Other times small talk. I am an introvert, and at first, it felt awkward. Practice helps me make progress.
Missional prayer helps me make his presence real in my life. I feel useful and more aware of my purpose. This has become my favorite part of the day.
The last doll is the personal request doll. The practical prayer.
To be honest, this is the prayer I was most familiar with. Still today it is the prayer I say most often. Praying for friends, church members, family, etc.… It has become routine along with my quiet time in the morning.
The truth is God cares about your need. “Give us this day our daily bread” is about your daily needs. God hears and answers. If I am not careful though, my prayer life resembles a chatterbox. I am blabbering and sending requests but never listening or enjoying his presence.
So how do you pray without ceasing? It is as easy as 1-2-3!
How to Flourish in Prayer through the use of Prayer Circles:
- Start with the listening prayer. Our Father who is in Heaven, hallowed be your name
- Then practice the missional prayer. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
- Finish with the practical prayer. Give us this day our daily bread, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespassed against us. Lead us not into temptation.
Prayer is practicing the kingdom within. When we pray and acknowledge God, we are communing with Him and the Spirit within us. Our prayers, when fueled by the Holy Spirit, can move mountains.
Father, draw close to us as we draw near to you. Make your presence tangible as we practice praying without ceasing. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit who guides us into deeper intimacy with you. Amen.
Verses to Ponder:
Matthew 6:9-13 Look up in several different versions.