Contrary to popular belief, we (our group) do pray, and have a very high value for prayer. We are just against praying the wrong way and more specifically, asking God to do what He told us to do, or asking God to do things that He already has done.
On that note… here are some of my convictions on prayer.
Prayer is communication. It is fellowship with God.
It is no different than speaking face to face with a friend. This is a real relationship we are talking about.
If all your communication with a close friend is monologue, then your relationship is dysfunctional.
If your communication is solely you ranting about your problems, or how bad your circumstances are, and you don’t spend time listening, then your relationship is dysfunctional.
If you only communicate with your friend when you have a problem, then your relationship is dysfunctional.
If all the time you spend with your friend is confined to a specific time at a specific building, then your relationship is probably dysfunctional.
If your communication involves asking your friend to “come” when He is in the room, or asking for “more of your presence,” then you are either deceived, or your relationship is dysfunctional.
If your communication is all about begging them to “move” or going on a hunger strike so that they will heed your request, you are deceived and are manipulating your “friend.”
If you’re getting to know your friend better through someone else rather than directly through your friend, you probably don’t even have a relationship.
I have a very high value for prayer, it just doesn’t look like what most people think “prayer” to be.
“Pray without ceasing” does not mean “always be talking.” Even the world teaches that “90% of communication is non-verbal.”
Even in total silence, there can be communication and fellowship.
Talk to God like a normal person. You don’t need to say, “Father God that you would just Lord God.. Jesus, Father God Jesus Lord Holy Spirit God. God Jesus I ask that you would just Father God Jesus.” That is NOT normal. You do not speak with normal people like that.
There are random times in the day where I just become aware of Him. There are times where I just pause and take a moment to worship and adore Him.
All throughout the day I might be asking him questions, asking what His thoughts are on certain things.
If the entirety of your relationship with someone can be seen by other people, your relationship with that person is dysfunctional. There has to be times where there is intimacy (into-me-you-see), transparency, and personal history.
It is interesting how little Jesus even talked about prayer compared to what he demonstrated (Luke 5:16). It wasn’t even until the disciples asked Him to teach them “to pray,” not “how to pray” (Luke 11:1), that Jesus explained to them the basics.
Jesus talked more about His Father (relationship) more than He talked about “praying.” Do you understand the distinction?
Muslims pray. Religious people pray. All kinds of people pray. Christians have a relationship.
I am not trying to bring something new, I am merely showing you Jesus’ emphasis. He talked more about His Father and doing His will more than doing “prayer.” It wasn’t a discipline, because you don’t need discipline if you are in a relationship that you highly value.
How much discipline does a husband need to spend time with his wife (ideally)?
Relationship, not ritual.
Communion, not psychiatric consulting.
Intimacy, not shallow conversation.
Be purposeful in your relationship, not your “prayer time” or “quiet time.”
The “secret place” is not a room, or closet. YOU ARE THE SECRET PLACE. Wherever you are, you can be communing with the Father. God is not confined to a specific location.
I can be “in the secret place” when I am driving, or if I’m sitting on the bus, or if I’m taking a shower. I can be “in the secret place” anywhere, anytime, and no one has to know about it. It’s as simple as just turning your affections toward Him or just being aware of the Christ in you.
He is IN you. You can’t go somewhere He is not. You don’t need to say “Well, without Jesus…”
He’s here. Talk to Him. He is probably one of the most ignored people on the planet.
Here are two videos on this topic that have greatly impacted me: