“Dude, you’ve got to hear this!” My friend was holding out his phone and laughing hysterically.
“What is it?” I asked.
“A voice mail from your mom.”(I totally didn’t see that coming)
So, I took the phone and listened. I don’t remember the details of her message, but I’ll never forget the way she finished the call. It went something like this. “If you have any questions, just give me a call. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.”
Hilarious, right? I couldn’t stop laughing. My mom just closed out the phone call the way she closes her prayers!
As much as I enjoyed joking with my mom about her miscue, it got me to thinking: maybe we should all be committing more of those verbal “slips.” Wouldn’t that be a sign that prayer has become such a part of our lives that it naturally spills into our other conversations?
Paul encouraged the Thessalonian people to “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17). Obviously that doesn’t mean we refrain from conversations with other people in order to close our eyes, bow our heads, and pray all day. That’s not the example of Christ. Instead, it means that our conversation with God is an instinctive part of our lifestyle that flows freely as our day unfolds.
Instead of seeing prayer as a ritual to be performed at certain times in certain places, it should be an ongoing conversation that goes everywhere you go.
It’s sort of like the difference between conversations on a landline and a cell phone. The landline is very limited. You can only use it in one location. It requires that you schedule a time to be with the phone. In contrast, cell phones go wherever you go –making conversation available anytime and anyplace (if you have the right service provider!).
Our prayer should be more “cell phone style” with God. He’s always there, always available, and always listening –you don’t even have to leave a voice mail!