Prayer

I’ve been a Christian since I was a child and knew prayer was important.  But I never really understood why it was important until I went to my grandmother’s funeral.

My grandma, a life-long Christian, died at the age of ninety-nine.  The pastor who performed the funeral service had just come to her church three weeks before.  But from talking to our family, he came to understand my grandma.  In his sermon, he mentioned how everyone in the family felt that if Grandma prayed for you, you were really prayed for.  He said that didn’t mean Grandma had supernatural powers and could make God do what she wanted.  He meant that when you’ve spent ninety-nine years getting to know someone, you know a lot about Him.  When Grandma prayed, she had a better idea of how to pray and what to expect.

Until that day, I hadn’t thought of my relationship with God as getting to know Him better, like I would a person.  I can’t know a person if I never read his e-mails or posts or call him.  I know this person exists, but I know nothing about him.  I think there are many Christians like that.  They believe in God, know some stories from the Bible, and pray when panicked.  But they don’t really have a relationship with Him.

When I began praying more than a few minutes before bed each night, my spiritual life opened up in ways I didn’t even know it could.  It takes time.  I can’t hope to squeeze time in to read the Bible and pray at the end of the day.  I have to allot time for it in my daily schedule.  I walk and pray.  I need the exercise, and the physical activity helps me focus.  So you don’t have to find a quiet spot and kneel.  Just dedicate time to prayer and then do it when you can focus it on it without many distractions.  Nothing is more important than getting to know God, and we can’t get to know Him without spending time with Him.  We need both quantity and quality time with Him.