I've been wrestling a lot with the practice of prayer.
There are moments when prayer comes very easily, and my heart feels quite in tune with the divine. Couple that with what appears to be answers to my prayers I want, and we've got a winner.
Other seasons, my prayer life is much more like a shrug or sigh.
If it's a particularly dark time, my prayer may literally be throwing my hands up in wonder, frustration, doubt or, on occasion, fear.
But no matter what, prayer is an integrated part of my life, and the life of my family. We pray before meals (which right now consists of our 3-year-old twins begging to bless the meal and then praying for everything they can think of—living and non-living). We pray before bed. There are whispered prayers, light prayers, heavy prayers, grateful prayers and painful prayers.
As our lives go, so go our conversations with heaven.
At some point, I'd like to write a much more involved series on what I believe the full purpose of prayer is, how it "works," what it accomplishes and why it doesn't seem like God is even listening sometimes. But ...
Today, I really just wanted to share with you what I've discovered as the only prayer I know will work 100 percent of the time.
It's not "The Prayer of Jabez" or some magical concoction of words.
Ready? OK, here it is:
"God, please show me how I can invest in someone else today."
That's it? Yep, that's it. Sometimes all I have to do is look up after I finish praying that line, and it's already been answered.
There are people around us all the time.
Even if you're a stay-at-home mom, there is always someone who could use an extra word of love, assurance or hope.
There is always someone who might need a few bucks to cover their grocery bill.
There is always someone who is searching.
There is always someone who might just need us to just go be with them ... no words or sage counsel ... just our presence.
Frequently I hear requests for prayer like this: "Please pray for a family who is having some financial trouble right now" or "I know someone who is really struggling, so would you ask God to provide for their needs?"
Those prayers are answered as soon as they form in our hearts.
When Jesus gave His disciples what we now call "The Lord's Prayer," the part about "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven"—that's about us. You and me. We are an important part of bringing those realities to life.
Right here. Right now.
So, go be an answer to prayer today.
Matt Chambers is father to 6 (including 1 with special needs), director of SafeWorld, founder of a Gener.us, advocate, speaker, writer, leader and learner. You can follow him on Twitter @mattchambrs or contact him directly firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the original article, visit churchleaders.com.
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