About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Sundayschoolization Of Prayer
While being raised
in 1950's and 1960's style Evangelical Christianity I was taught to say my
evening prayers before going to sleep.
That was a good start in being educated in the practice of prayer,
but it was only a start. I
needed to move on from my childhood Christian education, or as I call it,
the "Sundayschoolization of Scripture," if I ever wanted to
mature as an adult Christian.
I often hear
Christians speak of their prayer life in terms of their morning and
evening prayers. It's as if
they end their morning prayer by saying, "Good-bye Lord.
See you tonight." If
that is the extent of your prayer life, you have missed the meaning of
In 1 Thessalonians
5:17 the apostle Paul told his readers to continually pray, or as the King
James Bible puts it, "pray without ceasing."
According to Paul, there is more to prayer than saying our morning
and evening prayers. You might
wonder how we can live in continuous prayer when we are busy with life. I
suggest that if we have to even ask that question, we're missing out on
the Holy Spirit's involvement in our lives.
reading of the Bible shows us that there are a variety of ways in which we
pray. They range from simple
comments or requests to heavy-duty, Spirit-led, intercession, but basic to
all prayer is our union with God through His Spirit.
Paul mentioned this in 1 Corinthians 6:17.
"But he that
is joined unto the Lord is one
Being joined to God
through His Holy Spirit is fundamental to being a Christian.
This joining enables us to communicate with Him, whether on our
knees or on the job. The
Spirit of the Almighty, who lives in the Christian, provides the
opportunity to have an interactive, conversational, moment-by-moment,
relationship with God. This is
what I believe Paul had in mind when he encouraged his readers to pray
encouraging his readers to pray without ceasing Paul told them to not
quench the Spirit. I suggest
that merely saying morning and evening prayers, without conversing with
God during the day, might be considered quenching the Holy Spirit.
A truly born again
of the Spirit Christian, and there is no other kind of Christian, has been
joined to God in spirit. For
this reason I have learned to direct my thoughts, not just to myself, but
to the Lord, and why? It is
because He and I are joined in a spiritual unity.
We are spiritually inseparable, so why would I want to ignore Him
during my day? Why would I not
want to talk to my Saviour as the day progresses?
Sundayschoolizing prayer is a good start for our children in
teaching them about prayer, but as an adult, I know there is more to
prayer than that.