No Prayer, No Peace

Ann Spangler
Ann Spangler
2015 4 Jun

Have you ever tried brewing coffee without water or driving a car without an engine or working on a computer without a screen? I didn’t think so. Trying to become more peaceful without spending time with God in prayer is the same thing—a logical impossibility. Only regular times of prayer can provide the essential foundation for our search for greater peace.

The reasons for this are obvious. Peace comes from being in vital communion with God, who is the source of all peace. But you can’t be in communion with him if you never talk to him, praise him, listen to him, confide in him, confess to him, or thank him. Just as you wouldn’t (I hope) refuse to talk to your spouse or a close friend, it’s foolish to refrain from talking to God and then pretend that you want to have an intimate relationship with him.

The problem, of course, is that there are so many obstacles to prayer. We are surrounded by people who need us, things we need to do, and things we want to do. Everything seems urgent; many things seem enticing. They all shout for our attention. But God rarely shouts. Instead, he waits patiently, despite the 1,001 things we put before our relationship with him. I’m not trying to send you on a guilt trip but motivating you to make prayer one of your highest priorities. As you pray, resist the temptation to make prayer all about you—your needs, your concerns, your petitions. Of course there is a place for you in prayer, but put praise and thanksgiving and listening first, because these will help you keep God first in your heart.

As you make prayer a more regular part of your life, consider Mark Buchanan’s advice. “Prayer, before it’s talking,” he says, “ought to be listening. Before it’s petition, it should be audition. Before it calls for eloquence, it requires attention. God speaks. We listen. Prayer’s best posture is ears cupped, head tilted toward that Voice.”1

1.  Mark Buchanan, The Rest of God (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2006), 190.

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