praying at all times
“Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints," (Ephesians 6:18, ESV)
‘Praying at all times’ is not a hard task… ‘Psssh’ should be your response to that fist sentence. Have you ever tried to pray at all times? Yeah, but prayer is simple, it’s just talking to God, right? The simplicity of prayer is as elementary as talking to God. Yet for some reason it is not as easy as some might assume. Praying faithfully is a real struggle.
Why is prayer a struggle? It falls under the old adage of simple but not easy. Prayer isn’t easy because it is an activity that involves more than a mechanical effort. Let’s put it like this, brushing your teeth is simple and easy. For this task to be accomplished it must become a habit. I don’t have to feel anything about it one way or another. Heartlessly brush your teeth and you’ll be successful. There are many things in life that fit this paradigm. Like taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, or doing the dishes. You might be passionate about those things, but it isn’t necessary.
The problem is, prayer does not fit this practical and mechanical idea. Mere words disassociated with my belief and desire do not suffice as genuine prayer. Some may think so, but when we read God’s Word we are immediately reminded that prayer takes more than measly external action. Think of prayer as a necessary attachment in a relationship. It is the activity that must be heart felt and genuine or it will quickly become a set of chains and not a freeing and blessed activity.
In Ephesians 6:18 we read that praying is at all times in the Spirit with all kinds of prayer and heart felt entreaties to God. This verse shows why prayer is hard. It is hard because it is a relational activity with God, and relationships are hard because we are having to die to self as we relate. Doing the faith-filled-relational-hard-work of heart work is why praying at all times is so hard.
So here is the encouragement, seek God and by faith do that work. Love God and pursue Him. Prayerfully pray in the Spirit at all times. If you find yourself in a place where you lack the desire, then repent and beg God that you might return to the bosom of His love through the appointed means of prayer. And then pray with all prayer and supplication for the saints as you persevere and keep alert in the faith.