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18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.  – Ephesians 6:18

This is perhaps the most comprehensive encouragement to prayer in the whole Bible.  Notice how often the word “all” is used.  Whenever I read this my thoughts turn to a permanent “quiet time” or even a perpetual prayer meeting.  Neither is remotely attractive or what the Lord means through this writing of Paul. We have a life to live!

My thoughts must then move to what attitude we should glean from these words.  That is really very clear.  It is an attitude that I am always vulnerable and personally inadequate for life in this world.  I am always dependent on the relationship I have with my God, a relationship established by Jesus’ saving work for me in his life, death and resurrection.  This constant prayer is then an ongoing attitude of dependence with frequent cries for help and expressions of thanksgiving.  It is a life in which I can always be aware of the presence of the Lord.

Therefore, it is not a call to retreat from life but to embrace life and trust that the Lord will hear the cries for help from his people in any and every circumstance.  We never get this right of course but that only leads to a greater sense of our need of the help that only comes from our Lord.

David Johnston – Creek Road Campus

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