Prayer: What It Is - and Is Not

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I don't know about you, but that word instantly puts an image in my brain of heads bowed and eyes closed, but I do not believe that is what the New Testament teaches prayer really is. Paul said we should be "praying always" - if we did that, how could we ever get anything done? It would be kind of hard to drive to work with our eyes closed and our head bowed, don't you think?

Further, have you ever read the account in the Gospels where the disciples were unable to cast out a demon, then Jesus Himself cast out the demon? When the disciples asked Him why they could not cast the demon out, Jesus told them that this kind of demon is cast out only by prayer.

BUT READ THE PASSAGE CAREFULLY! Jesus Himself DID NOT PRAY when He cast the demon out! The event is recorded in three different gospels and none of the writers says Jesus prayed first. (But i think He was praying...)

So, what is prayer? It is an attitude of humble and intimate sharing of the relationship we have with God as we go through our daily lives... it is simply remembering we are not in this life, facing the circumstances of life, by ourselves and with our own resources. We are in union with God.

My personal conviction is that the disciples could not cast out the demon because they were using "prayer" or the name of "Jesus" as a formula or method (which we are all prone to do)... Ours is a journey of faith in a Person. We do not reduce this incredible reality to a question of "what works" but "Who works"... Prayer is seeking to experience Jesus in ALL that we do. Driving on the interstate, shovelling dirt, changing diapers; these are all opportunities to be praying without ceasing because they are all opportunities to live in the Spirit at the same time we are living in this physical world.