Girlfriends in God - Feb. 2, 2007


February 2, 2007

The Gift of Prayer

Mary Southerland


Today's Truth

I Thessalonians 5:17 (NIV) “Pray continually.”


Friend to Friend

Even as a baby, our son, Jered, has always loved the outdoors. We lived in sunny South Florida for over twenty years and always enjoyed its climate, which allowed for year around outdoor activities.  As a toddler, one of Jered’s favorite places to go was the beautiful park across the street from our home.  Squirrels scampered along walking trails and ducks dotted a small lake nestled under hundreds of tall oak trees. We had a routine.  Each morning after breakfast, while I cleaned up the kitchen, Jered would run to his room, grab his hat, his “cool” Disney sunglasses and push his stroller to the front door.  If I was not quite ready to go he would then climb into the stroller and wait – but just for a minute or two. Babies and toddlers are not known for their patience. At first, Jered would calmly announce his presence and his plan.  But if I did not respond, his voice would begin to rise in volume and his request would soon turn into a firm request, well on its way to a command.  “Mom, let’s go!”  And we always went!  Sound like your prayer life?


Many of you are great conversationalists.  When you meet someone new, you find it easy to talk with them, establishing a relationship within minutes.  Others are not so eloquent. We may be a little shy or withdrawn so that when we meet someone new, we touch on a new subject, like testing a hot iron, and we are out of there!  Even those who are great at meeting people tend to keep things on a surface level, talking about the weather, kids, jobs, etc.  We don’t usually start a conversation with, “Hi!  It is so good to meet you.   Could you tell me how much you weigh?”  Everyone knows that is breaking the rules and may result in a sharp, painful blow to the body.  We keep the conversation on safe ground until the relationship can handle a deeper level.


Sadly, some of us have never gotten past the “safe” level of conversation with God.  We thank Him for food, ask Him to heal those who are sick and then proceed to give Him our list of requests and demands.  The Father wants so much more than that!


While it is a wonderful privilege to share our requests with God, what He really wants is our heart conversation.  He wants to know what is going on in your soul – not because He doesn’t know but because He wants to be with you and interact with you.  Praying continually not only means to pray silently, but to pray out loud, talking with Him like you talk with a close friend. Praying out loud involves every sense and solidifies an awareness of His presence.  I pray out loud about everything from a parking space to the greatest crisis in my life.  I have found that an ongoing conversation with God makes Him more real to me and deepens my relationship with Him. God never meant praying to be a burden but rather the most wonderful privilege of life.  Don’t miss this precious gift to you from God.  He is waiting, listening for your voice!


Let's Pray

Lord, I want to know you more.  I truly want my prayer life to be as natural to me as breathing.  Help me to learn how to pray, to share everything with you honestly and openly.  By faith, I thank you for hearing me and loving me.  Thank you for the gift of prayer.  Amen.


Now it's Your Turn

  • Learn to recognize prayer as a privilege – not a burden.


  • Examine honestly the growth of your prayer life over the last year. Has your prayer life grown and if so, how? 


  • Think back over the last month.  What prayers has God answered?


  • Make the commitment – right now - to make continual prayer a heart habit.


More from the Girlfriends

One of the most amazing gifts in my life is a group of ladies who are committed to pray for me each and every day.  When a storm hits, I race to my computer and email them, asking for prayer.  They pray for my family, for each speaking engagement and every word of every book I write.  Prayer really is a gift from God.  Accept it today!


For more on this topic, see Mary’s book, Escaping the Stress Trap.


Girlfriends in God, Inc.

P.O. Box 725

Matthews, North Carolina 28106


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Originally published Friday, 02 February 2007.