I’ve noticed an intriguing response from some christians when they find out I’m a leader in a team of intercessors. There is a polite response, followed by silence, followed by an unsolicited outpouring of the deficits in their prayer life.
“I need to pray more.”
“I have such a hard time focusing when I pray.”
“I don’t have a prayer closet.”
These responses make me smile, because I’ve said them all. I never thought I was an intercessor because I didn’t look like anyone I knew. I usually worship for longer than I intercede. I often walk and drive when I pray, so a closet was not a happy thought for me. My creative mind is an active place, so stillness and focus can be a challenge.
Guess what I discovered? These weren’t God’s rules about prayer.
I’ve discovered that God loves to walk with me and talk things over. He enjoys road trips and delights in pointing out things in the natural that are true in the Spirit as we drive.
One day, we’ll talk and listen to each other for hours. The next morning, prayer is a short encounter of confident declaration. The day after that, He just winks and says “No words necessary. I know.” He likes to mix it up. Apparently, following His lead is more important to Him than a clock.
He draws my focus back with a smile or hides insights in my mental wanderings just for fun.
In worship, I become overwhelmed with how big He is, so when I pray, it is from His perspective not mine.
And for the areas I still need help or don’t understand? I have a wonderful Helper and Teacher: The Holy Spirit.
God’s joy is in the relationship of prayer, not the right and wrongs of procedure. He just wants to talk and listen to someone He loves.
Worship, stillness, thanksgiving and listening all open up my ears to hear what God is doing in the very thing I’m praying about. In Crafted Prayer, Graham writes:
“Prayer is asking God to do the very thing He’s telling you He wants to do. It comes with confidence in our heart because we’ve heard the will of God, we know we’re praying what He wants and that He will answer.”
That process and conversation with the God who adores me is a lot of fun. If I don’t hear initially, I know I will eventually. Life in God is actually a simple game of Follow the Leader: See what He sees. Say what He says. Do what He is doing. Pray what He is praying.
Love-filled simplicity with joy that results in peace.
Those are the only kinds of rules God has.