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Let's Pray Real Quick

Just a few weeks ago, it was our normal Tuesday night group.  We went around the room, one by one, and shared our praise and prayer requests before we began our mentoring meeting at the men’s rescue mission.  There were 8 residents from the mission there, plus 4 MPACT brothers who set aside their time each week to lend a hand of support for these men as they reset the bar to their lives through Christ. 

The requests seemed to take a longer than usual time that night.  There was a lot on these men’s hearts: family, fatherhood struggles, temptations for relapsing back to drugs or the bottle, money issues, and faith questions.  After I wrote everything down, I tried to pivot the conversation to get to the study I had prepared for the evening.  My words were, “All right guys, let’s pray real quick so we can dive into tonight’s topic of discussion.”

I felt brother Wayne, a resident of the mission, glaring at me from across the table.  “Wait a minute Trey,” he said. “Did you just say let’s pray real quick? Let’s pray . . .  REAL QUICK?  Let’s go to our Father, Our Lord ad Savior . . . REAL QUICK?  Come on man, I know that’s not you speaking?”

You know, every day that I grow in the knowledge of who I am in Christ, I gain wisdom, day after day.  On this night, brother Wayne hit me upside the head with wisdom, real wisdom.  How many times do I relegate prayer to a “REAL QUICK”?  I mean, My Lord, Jesus Christ, The Father of the universe, The I AM, His Holy Spirit to . . . “Let’s pray REAL QUICK?”  The answer is more than I can probably count.  I’ve said these 4 words many times, hear these words coming from a stage, from a group leader, coaches before games in locker rooms, “Huddle up guys, let’s pray real quick and then go out and kick their butt!”  (This is usually followed by a fast paced, non-convicted team chant of the “Lord’s Prayer”. 

I wonder if God in heaven ever thinks, “Wait . . . What?  You want to call me, to fit me in, for 30 seconds so you can move onto something else more important?” 

On the other hand, have you ever been in prayer and after the prayer thought, or had someone whisper, “Man he kept going on and on with that prayer?  I was dying to dig into those mashed potatoes and gravy bro!”  I was once performing a wedding and was doing the closing prayer.  It was a big wedding for me as the bride was the daughter of a close friend.  During the final prayer I heard an attendee whisper, “Come on Padre, let’s finish up so we can get to the drinks and dinner.”  Yeah, that sounds like a funny movie scene. 

Why has prayer to GOD, our actual conversations with our true Father, turned into a duty, or something we try and “Fit In” to our lives?  I always find it perplexing when I hear people brag about carving aside 15 minutes each day to pray.  (Stop . . . there is nothing wrong with that at all, I do that too. So, no emails please) But my question is, “Why 15 minutes?”  What would the world be like if prayer was just a natural part of who we are throughout the day while we are driving, walking, shopping at Publix, sitting at the ball fields, sitting with friends or at the gym.  When’s the last time you heard someone say they couldn’t wait to get home, PRAY and take a load off?  Instead of saying they couldn’t wait to get home, binge watch Netflix, catch up on Instagram and take a load off?  (I’ve said and done that many times!)

Why don’t we think about prayer as THE MOST important thing we do every day?  Why don’t we think of prayer as the driving force in our lives?  Are we, as Paul encourages us; in prayer without ceasing? (2 Thessalonians 5:17) Is our prayer life as natural as talking on the phone or even texting our friends constantly each day?  Are we so connected to our phones in such a way that we forget that Jesus told us to stay connected to the vine of His life?  Jesus knew the importance of constant meaningful prayer and being alone with his Father.  Is prayer the center point of our spiritual walk here on earth?  Or is it a check off to get to something else?

So, how do we stay connected with THE FATHER, ABBA, Our HOLY GOD?  Drumroll . . . Survey says . . . PRAYER!  It’s the iPhone to HIM.  It’s how connect to the vine.  When we connect in that way, our need to pray REAL QUICK will cease.  We will connect and be one in mind with the God of the universe constantly.  Maybe then, we will then start saying things like, “Ok, let pray fervently in HIS SPIRIT, and then we’ll play a game (or do something else) REAL QUICK.” 

I think I can see my brother Wayne smiling right now!  Thanks for your friendship, insight and wisdom bro!

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