Devotions from John Ortberg’s book, The Me I Want to Be
Richard Forster says, “Countless people…have such a stained-glass image of prayer that they fail to recognize what they are experiencing as prayer and so condemn themselves for not praying.” Our state of our prayer life is not determined by how long we pray or how often. If you believe God, you have already begun to pray and enter into dialogue with Him. Believing in God means you believe He is always present, always listening to what you have to say.
Often when we are speaking to someone or in front of someone we can hide our real heart. We may filter what we say. But the reality of God is that we are never speaking or acting in his absence. However, God allows us to sometimes feel as if we are away from Him. ( Do you ever drive differently when you think a squad car is behind you? Is it because your heart is changed or because you don’t want a ticket?) God doesn’t want forced compliance. If He were too visible people would give forced compliance without expressing their heart. “Prayer becomes real when we grasp the reality and goodness of God’s constant presence with ‘the real me.” Jesus lived his every day life in conscious awareness of His Father. He knew His father was listening not just when He prayed but all the time, whenever He spoke.
God is the conscious listener to our every thought, and prayer begins when we bring what we most naturally think about before God. We can bring our worries to Him and pray what is in us. We don’t have to wait to clean up our motives first or try to sound more spiritual than we are. Just pray what is in our hearts.