When I first started studying what it meant to be in constant prayer, I thought the idea was ridiculous — it sounded like constant work. But eventually I realized constant prayer is a place of rest, not another form of striving. It is a rest of the heart, a holy deep breath. Such prayer keeps us reliant on God and his vision so we don’t slip back into believing we are gods with our own kingdoms to build.
God wants to let us in on the great secrets of life. The psalmist David wrote that God’s thoughts toward us outnumber the grains of sand that are scattered across the earth. One cubic foot of sand has roughly one million grains, so you do the math. That’s a lot of thoughts for the Voice to share.
But most of us remain too distracted to see what’s really happening around us. Our thoughts aren’t fixed on higher things, so we lose hope and faith and love. Life becomes something we just get through, and the things that once brought us joy — marriage, work, kids, friends — weigh us down. We become ashamed of our decisions and attempt to keep God at arm’s length, hoping to get our act together before inviting him back in. In desperation, we close the conversation, limiting our words with God to stale prayers and Sunday services.
The Father wants us to open the conversation, though. Prayer is profoundly human, touching every part of our humanity. It is only through prayer that we can know and face what we truly are and what this moment requires of us. Until we learn our lives can be a prayer, we will remain strangers to our fears and hopes, sins and desires, weaknesses and strengths. Sure, we will be aware of some of them, but we won’t see them for what they truly are, nor will we have the strength and wisdom to plumb their depths.
When we surrender to prayerfulness, our hearts never stop sharing words with God. There is, after all, so much to share. Many of these words will be inarticulate and unknown to us, but they’ll do their work. The Spirit and Son are constantly interceding on our behalf, quieting the murmurs and lies that keep us from yielding to the Father’s will, helping us surrender every part of us to the rhythms of love.