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Just Sleepwalking for God

October 14, 2016

One Sunday a young child was “acting up” during the Communion Service. The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew but were losing the battle. Finally, the father picked the little fellow up and walked sternly up the aisle on his way out. Just before reaching the safety of the door, the little one called loudly to the congregation, “Pray for me! Pray for me!”

A little boy was overheard praying: “Lord, if you can’t make me a better boy, don’t worry about it. I’m having a real good time like I am.”

Prayer is a strange thing, something I often struggle to understand.

A Sunday School teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to church service, “And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?” One bright little girl replied, “Because people are sleeping.”

I bring to mind the Christians I see in church and I don’t think they are asleep. Perhaps, next Sunday I should go and give them a prod, just to check? We may not be asleep but, looking at myself, perhaps I’m not fully awake either. I don’t know about you but some mornings I  get up and go through the routine, feed the cats, feed guinea pigs, go for a run, have breakfast… At least I think that’s what I did. It’s what I always do, but now I think about it, was that yesterday?

When I used to commute to work I would get in the car and then I would arrive at the office, but often I had no recollection of anything in between. Obviously I was awake, I wasn’t in a ditch so I must have been awake enough to drive… but I had missed all that was around me. I will have missed the barn owl out late, or the marsh harrier up early. I had missed the mist over the marshes and the colours in the hedgerow. I was awake but I couldn’t say I was fully alive!

That brings me to prayer. Is my prayer, “A real good time”, at least sometimes? Does my prayer make me more awake, more alive, or is it just putting me to sleep?

I know the theory about prayer – it is a gift – it is access, direct access with the creator of all things – it is direct access to the ruler of all things – it joins me with the God who is love – through the Spirit prayer makes me more loving, more forgiving; a little more like the person that I should be. That’s the theory, but if I’m honest too often my prayers are more like me driving to work, or stumbling around on a morning. I prayer, I am technically functioning but certainly not firing on all cylinders. Am I really just sleepwalking for God?

I need to pray some more, and let the Spirit transform my prayer. I need to stop thinking of prayer as something squeezed between business, and start realising it as the thing that links me to the source of life. I’m tempted now to start exploring all that prayer can be. But not now, now that would be a distraction; perhaps another time. For now I am just asking my Father to wake me up each morning, really wake me up. I’m asking the Spirit to inspire me, so that I can be transformed to be more and more like Jesus.

A question for me and for everyone: Is my prayer, “A real good time”, at least sometimes? Does my prayer make me more awake, more alive?

  1. Jennifer Taylor permalink

    At present my prayers seem to be ‘arrows’ & continuous crisis pleas.
    ‘I believe, forgive mine unbelief…
    Speak the Word only & my soul shall be healed…..’ is how it always ends.😔

    • Hi Jennifer, thank you for your comment. I have found that sometimes this is how it feels. I have had times when I was convinced that my prayers were just bouncing off the ceiling. However even crisis prayers are the start. You are not alone, nor are you to blame. God bless, Nigel.

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