From Where I Sit: Prayer is as natural as breathingBy: Tom Rupp, Special to the Telegraph
Someone once defined prayer as “the verbal part of our relationship with God.” Like most definitions, it is not intended to say all that there is to say about the subject. However, it does encapsulate in a sentence the basic idea of what the word means.
For instance, I am sure prayer could also include listening to God, to His world, to His people. Stay with me on this and let’s consider this aspect of prayer as I tell you what recently happened to me.
My friends Lindy and Misook invited Carol and I out to dinner to celebrate how God blessed Lindy with restorative healing. His diagnosis was more dire a month or two ago. Now he is up and going, getting stronger every day. They also invited Pastor Daniel Lee and his wife Janice.
We had a fun time eating a nice meal and enjoying pleasant conversation. Because of that, the two hours we were together flew by so quickly. After we turned down the dessert tray, it was time to go.
That’s when Pastor Lee said, “Let’s pray with you Lindy before we go.” And right there in the restaurant he led the six of us in prayer. I didn’t hesitate about doing it, but I did think about what we were doing as he prayed.
All too often Christians tend to swing from one extreme to the other. When it comes to public prayer, we should avoid on the one hand the desire to be seen by others as being fairly religious because “look at me, I am praying.”
On the other hand, we should also avoid the embarrassment that is ashamed of the Lord. There is a balance somewhere between flaunting it and hiding it.
When Pastor Lee prayed, it sure felt as if he had navigated that balance. Prayer for him is as natural as breathing. We breathe in public, so let’s pray in public. Again, it is not a way of expressing a false sense of superiority or fake religiosity. It is not a way of saying, “Hey, look at me, I’m a Christian.”
Just as we talk to our seat mates at the dinner table, so we just as naturally talk to our heavenly Father. That was a refreshing moment in the presence of God and His people.
In 1 Timothy 2:8 Paul desired that people “pray everywhere.” I do as well.
Reach Tom Rupp at firstname.lastname@example.org.