“Be joyful always; pray continually…” 1Thessalonians 5:16
For the last several weeks, I have been making a point of dedicating my day to God. It is not an idea original to me, but one that I have borrowed from the wise men and women of God who have gone before me. Some days this act of dedication came in the form of me on my knees, early in the morning, asking God to use me for His purposes, to bless my family, and anyone He brought into my life that day, through me. Other days, the realization that I had not only not opened the pages of my prayer journal, but that I had not yet yielded my day to Him, would hit me half way through the day. Usually, this situation would occur in a moment of frustration, and I knew my only response had to be to stop, for a breath, and remind myself through prayer, that my day belongs to Him.
I started this practice as a discipline, and truthfully, it was more for me, than for God. I wanted to daily, have a concrete way of reminding myself that my minutes and hours belonged to Him. Even as I have sought to be disciplined in this effort, I have found that my failure rate is somewhat significant. Even so, it seems that God is only interested in my successes. Whether I give Him my day early in the morning, or I take Him the frazzled bits and pieces of it late in the day, still He receives my offering and makes beautiful use of them.
This morning as I woke, still groggy from a night of holiday performances, and the requisite holiday cookies that accompanied the merriment, I found myself snuggled under my covers with a heart full of greeting to my wonderful Father. “Good morning, Lord,” I whispered with a smile, and a heart genuinely filled with joy. And so again, I gave Him my day.
As I have started this journey of prayer, I have been reminded that prayer is a continuous act; it is quite simply an ongoing conversation with the One I love. It may start in the morning with a greeting, and continue throughout the day with a question, a comment, or a moment of gratitude. It may take the form of non-verbal communication through a smile, or a sigh of frustration, or a stream of tears. If communication has faltered, it can be restored at any time, and even our thoughts and the intents of our heart toward Him, are part of the language of our love for Him.
As I meander my mind through this scripture passage, I think how interesting it is that Paul introduced his encouragement to pray continually, with an exhortation to always be joyful, and it brings me back to my early morning smile. For me, God’s giving nature again shines through, and I know that as I seek to maintain my conversation with the One I love, He will in turn cause me to always, be filled with joy.
You are the Author of my day, and the Redeemer of my minutes. Thank you for the joy and the peace that fills my heart today, and for helping me to learn to always keep the conversation going. Thank you for listening, and for the beautiful ways that You respond. I am honored, and ever so grateful!