“Lifestyle of Prayer”

This weeks meditation:  “Lifestyle of Prayer”
Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:14-24

I have often been intriqued by the book “The Practice of the Presence of God.”  This was a book that was compiled from the life and writings of Brother Lawrence (1614-1691) who lived in Paris, France and is known for his life committment of finding the love and presence of God in every part of life.

For years he served in a monastery in Paris preparing meals, washing dishes, and doing various other chores.  In many ways his life was his sermon and testimony.  He once said, “If I were a preacher, I would preach nothing but the practice of the presence of God.”

His story is a good one to share as we enter into this season of Spring.  You see, Brother Lawrence had a transformational experience through the encounter with a barren tree.  As he looked at the tree he realized the new life that would come forth as Spring approached.  That experience not only drew him to God but changed his life.

It was a lifetime journey for him but his desire was to live his whole life as a prayer, as an ongoing conversation with God.  He tried to practice this as he relaxed and as he worked, and as he fellowshiped with God’s people.

I have made it a goal of mine this year to spend more time in prayer, but as I reflect on the life of Brother Lawrence I am encouraged that this does not have to always be a designated time that I sit down and bow my head.  What if I take that conversation with God into every part of my day?

I do think it’s important that we have those quiet, uninterupted times with God, but I think this idea of seeing prayer as a lifestyle is what Paul was referring to in verse 17 of this passage when he says, “pray continually!” (NIV)

I am thankful this week for Edna Krueger Dyck who wrote a recent article in Purpose magazine and reminded me once again about the life and example of Brother Lawrence.  She ends her article by writing, “Prayer then is a lifestyle, a moment-by-moment awareness of God in my life, an invitation to God to keep emotional company with me.  I think that Jesus practiced this kind of prayer life, this communion with God, and I think it’s what Paul meant by “praying without ceasing.”

Make it personal:  Try to take your prayer life into your everday life this week.  Keep the conversation with Jesus going throughout your day and allow him to celebrate the high points with you and support and encourage you in the low points.  Make prayer a part of your lifestyle!

Blessings in your week,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life

Arthur Mennonite Church