By Rev. R. J. Rushdoony
The trouble with most prayer is that the person praying is not really talking with God but
carrying on a recitation into the air. True prayer involves communion and conversation, and
it is a continuous thing. We do not limit our conversation with our husband or wife to a set
time, at meals or before going to sleep, and then keep silent all the rest of the day. We talk
when we have something to say. The same is true with God. If we limit our prayers to set,
formal times, we soon have little to say then.
Then how do we pray? Dozens of times in a day, we talk with God, usually only a sentence
or two. Do we have a difficult and trying person to meet or deal with? Then we pray simply,
“Lord give me patience and wisdom to meet this person in Thy Spirit and grace.”
Is our task one we dislike? Then we ask, “Lord, I hate this job, but I must do it. Give me
grace to do this thing in the right way and in a better frame of mind.”
If we make a blunder, we say, “Lord I was pretty stupid that time. Help me grow up in my
handling such problems.” We share with Him, in a sentence or two, a hundred times in a day
sometimes, our problems, our delights with things, our fears, our hopes, our everything.
And we must not forget gratitude. “Thanks for helping me through that one, Lord.”
Or we say, “There must be something for me to learn here, Lord, that I don’t even know
about, so please, Lord, teach me, so that I do better next time.”
If God is real to us, He is “a very present help in trouble” and in time of need (Ps. 46:1).
We therefore call upon Him continuously, to share with Him our needs, hopes, joys, griefs,
and gratitudes. This is what St. Paul means when he writes, “Be careful (or anxious) for
nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests
be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall
keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).
There is no better way to live.
Yours in Christ,
Paul N. F.