How to Pray on All Occasions
By Tiffany Thibault
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people. - Ephesians 6:18
It never fails. Every single time I open a package of meat, my dog will be right there at my side in less than five seconds. He can be in a deep sleep, in the other room or even outside on the porch. As soon as I begin to open any package of meat, he is right at my side or begging to come in, always in less than five seconds.
Sometimes, just for fun, I will start counting, one, two, three, four, five. I rarely even make it to the number five before he is right there beside me.
He has been known to push his way between me and the counter or the stove to get a closer whiff. His smell glands are so super-hyper that he will begin to bite at the air, trying to taste the meat. Once he even nudged me completely out of the way, just to get closer to the meat.
This happened once again last night, as I was frying some hamburger meat at the stove, the dog frantically sniffing at my side, when some questions went flying through my thoughts:
How fast do I turn to the Lord when my life gets stinky?
How quickly do I turn to Him for every situation or decision that comes my way?
How consistent am I in praying for others throughout my day?
Dogs need an acute smell system to help them find their food in the wild. It is critical to their survival. They don’t need to practice smelling meat. It is already deeply ingrained in them at birth. However, it isn’t ingrained in us humans to pray at all times.
Praying at all times and in all situations doesn’t come naturally to us. We are certainly quick to turn to the Lord when we have moments of crisis, when a need is urgent, or when a friend is rushed to the hospital. We are certainly quick to keep on praying for their situation until they make a turn for the better. The Bible verse though doesn’t say to “Pray to the Lord for help only when things are bad.” The words instead say: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”
What Kinds of Prayer Can We Pray throughout the Day?
Praying a variety of prayers ensures that we keep communicating with the Lord:
Prayers of thankfulness for the way He is moving in our life.
Prayers of praise for who He is.
Prayers of mercy for our pain.
Prayers of forgiveness for intentional or unintentional sin.
Prayers of warfare against Satan.
Prayers for protection and provision.
Are you finding that you are quick to turn to the Lord only in times of need?
Praying for others throughout the day is not easy, it is something that we have to put into practice, repeatedly, until turning to the Lord is as natural to us as breathing. Who does the Lord bring to mind right now, as you read these words, that you can spend a moment praying for?
The verse tells us to be alert. When I walk into the kitchen to begin meal prep, my dog is on alert, watching me, waiting until he smells the meat before he appears right at my side in less than five seconds. As we move through our days, we are to be alert. We are to practice looking for situations so that we can bring them to the Lord in prayer.
As you drive down the street, pray for the people walking on the sidewalk, pray for the mail person, pray for that child walking their dog. God has put all these people in your line of sight, so why not pray for them?
Look around you right now. Who can you pray for? I look out my window and see the corner of my neighbors house. I pray for that man. He needs God somehow, today. Maybe I am the only one praying for him.
Can you start to look for opportunities through your day and circumstances to pray? Are you willing to teach yourself to be quick to respond to God in prayer in less than five seconds? You see someone, you pray. You remember someone, you pray.
Can you do this practice so often that it becomes ingrained in you, so that in every circumstance you are quick to pray, hopefully in less than five seconds? Try it today and see how it can change your life and the lives of those around you.
Tiffany Thibault enjoys living life with her husband, two daughters and one very large dog in San Diego. She not only homeschools her girls, but she also loves to write about Jesus and speak about Him to groups of women. She loves long walks, coffee and anything chocolate.
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