…persevere in prayer.
Paul’s words here can sound like some mere religious exercise. Not that a religious exercise might not be helpful. But prayer as we see in Scripture, I think is a lot of things. But one of the things it astonishingly is, is actually talking to God. Yes, talking to God.
That is not only astonishing if we really take it at face value, but it also seems to be quite presumptive. Can God listen to the prayers of people who lift up their voice to God, regardless of their religion or lack thereof? I think we can clearly say from the pages of Scripture that yes indeed, God can and if it’s truly prayer in a Scriptural sense, God does. At the same time, God can shut God’s ears to the prayers even of God’s people when their prayers for whatever reason are somehow worthless and even offensive to God. There are a number of examples in Scripture on both sides which I won’t mention here.
But there’s nothing more valuable than talking to God. Do it slowly, thoughtfully, should I say prayerfully? I had an aunt who passed away not that long ago, and it was said of her that she took three hours daily to pray for her family. What a blessing, and what better thing could she have done?! I think I knew her and know that family well enough to believe without a doubt that prayer was just an expression of her heart and soul, meaning her body and life was fully engaged as well. That spoke to me then, and still speaks to me today.
What better thing can we do than talk to God? And if we do it right, then it seems to me that we won’t be hurrying or shuffling through it just to get it done. We’ll take our time. And maybe it will become not only the most important thing we do, but the thing we’re doing in the midst of life. Not only during a time set aside for it, which is important. But throughout the day, through all of life. Surely at least a worthy thought and goal.