My first Internet service provider was AOL. Dial Up. Slow. Unreliable.
I can still remember the sound of the screeching modem and the voice that said, “Welcome.” I remember the anticipation of waiting for the announcement, “You’ve got mail!”
I also remember surfing with the anticipation that I would suddenly lose my connection and be “booted” offline. As long as I was connected to the service I was “online.” However, after choosing to log off or being booted off, I was no longer connected to the service.
Internet Service Providers eventually introduced DSL and other high-speed connectivity options. These services not only promised high-speed internet surfing, but also an “always on” connection. Users no longer needed to log on to get service. The service was automatically available as long as the computer remained on and connected to the modem.
Analog or Digital Prayers
I am afraid that many of us treat prayer more like dialup internet than DSL connection. We settle for a seemingly analog spiritual existence when God offers a more reliable “always on” relationship.
Many of us end our prayers with a simple “Amen.” When we say amen we usually go about our activities and consider our prayer over. But prayer doesn’t have to end with the amen. Paul encouraged the Christians in the bustling city of Thessalonica,
Pray without ceasing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:17
What did He mean by that? Does he expect us to walk around with our heads bowed and eyes closed every waking minute? That could be dangerous!
Unceasing prayer recognizes that a conversation with God is always available; the connection is “always on.” We do not have to wait for prayer times. Unceasing prayer happens any time, anywhere, and in many forms.
Taking Your Praying to the Digital Realm
Please understand that I used the terms “analog” and “digital” in a figurative sense when I speak of prayers. We cannot reduce something as important as prayer to electronic terms.
By digital prayers I refer to the believer maintaining an attitude of prayer at all time. Just like a digital internet connection is “always on,” I believe our line of communication with God remains always open.
Here are a few daily disciplines that can help you take advantage of an open line of communication with God.
Begin your day with prayer. Research shows that the first 15-30 minutes of our day can shape the rest of the day. When we begin with prayer, we are more like to remain connected with God throughout the day.
Schedule daily prayer breaks. Workers take coffee breaks, so why not take prayer breaks? Set your phone to remind you to stop at regular intervals during the day to spend some time in prayer.
Look for reasons to pray. Before responding to a social media post, why not breathe a sentence or two of prayer first? When you see a law enforcement vehicle or a first response vehicle, pray for those responding and those in need. If we look, we will see many cues around us every day to prompt us to immediate prayer.
End your day in prayer. Research also seems to indicate that our thoughts as we fall asleep shape our first thoughts the next morning. Some legalist in my past once told me that if I fall asleep while praying, that prayer doesn’t count! Really? And what Scripture teaches that? I haven’t found it. In fact, I cannot think of a better way to fall asleep than talking to God.
Making the Switch to Digital
So what about your prayers? Are you mostly analog or have you unlocked the joy and blessing of digital praying. Are you growing in the discipline of unceasing prayer?
God never boots us offline. He is always eager to have time with us. Avail yourself to this high-powered opportunity.
Which of the daily disciplines above will you try out today to move your prayer life to the digital realm. Feel free to hit the comment tab and share with us any other ideas you have for unceasing prayer.