“You’re Abe Froman – The ‘Sausage King of Chicago’?”
Sound familiar?! (I’m SO giggling right now!)
It’s actually a line from one of my favorite movies called Ferris Bueller’s Day Off! But if it isn’t one of yours, I’ll spare you from having to sit there reading all my favorite one-liners (sorry, I couldn’t help myself with the Abe Froman thing…)!
If you’ve seen it, though, I think you’ll agree that the line and scene that is probably the most memorable (and most often quoted!) is the one where a teacher is standing in front of the classroom taking attendance. In that monotone voice that we all think our teachers had, he just keeps repeating, “Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?” with no idea that no one is listening to him, and oblivious to what he’s even saying anymore.
(C’mon – are you giggling yet? Please say yes!) 😉
I was just thinking about that goofy movie this morning as I spent some time in prayer. And – much to my chagrin – I realized that sometimes I act just like that tuned-out teacher when it comes to talking with God.
Because if I’m not careful, I begin to think that movie scene is an accurate representation of God’s attention to me. I talk and talk and talk to God and mistakenly feel like He isn’t listening because I’m not getting the attention or reaction I “expect”. So eventually, I just stop paying attention to what I’m saying and praying. Ugh…
I can be a little self-centered that way. How about you?
But scripture (Truth) tells us something different. Truth knows better than to believe prayer is just a bunch of words that evaporate into thin air once spoken.
Truth reminds us that prayer is conversation with God, and has supernatural power and implications! That’s why our beloved Paul encourages us to pray without ceasing:
When we earnestly pray to God, we grow in our relationship with Him. We spend time talking with Him, learning about Him, sharing our life with Him. That’s the miracle of the vertical growth of prayer.
When we honestly pray with others, we grow with them, learn about them, share our life AND OUR GOD with them. That’s the miracle that comes from the horizontal growth of prayer.
The more we pray, the more in tune we become to God’s beautiful voice and His sovereign and holy will for this earth.
The more we pray, the more in tune we become to the needs of those around us.
The more we pray, the more joyful we can be in celebration and praise when those needs have been beautifully and perfectly met by God.
Here’s the bottom line on prayer, sweet things: Every word we speak (aloud, in our heads, subconsciously, even as yet unformed…) is heard by our Father. He listens. And He speaks back. Maybe not audibly, but through so many different ways – He speaks. So when we choose to keep praying, even when we don’t see evidence of being heard, we’ve basically chosen to be in constant contact with the One who loves us most!
Oh please, please, please don’t give up praying, my dears! Always pray! He is bending down, always, to hear you. He cares for whatever is on your mind. He IS paying attention and He loves you enough to answer.
Practical Application: (simpl.if.I’ed steps you can take to deepen the meaning of this lesson in your life):
1. Find and display our second simpl.if.I mantra/scripture card: Always Pray! If you cannot find it or need to print one up, click here and you’ll find a link to the cards!
2. Click here to read Paul’s words to the church in Thessalonica. The link gives you a little more context into our verse for the week!
3. Pray! Spend time conversing with God every day this week. Give Him your thoughts, cares, worries, praises, and joy. And then give Him time to speak! Record some ways you see Him speaking to you – through friends, events, music, nature, your spirit, AND in scripture. He’s just waiting for you to slow down enough to “hear” Him!
4. Sit back and watch this beautiful music video! Goodness me, you’ll be so glad you did! 😉
If you are reading before amen by Max Lucado with us, go ahead and read Chapter 1: “The Pocket Prayer”! It’s a quick, but powerful, take on Max’s ideas of what’s important in prayer and how to break it down to basics! If you’re feeling really motivated (!), you can also complete the Study Guide for Chapter One at the back of the book! It gives even more great insight into how prayer can change your life!
Thanks for following along with us this summer for simpl.if.I! For more info on this series, click here! We are so glad you are with us!
Peace, love, and JOY!
Up Next Week: simpl.if.I week 3: Pay Attention!