“Use what little obedience you are capable of, even if it be like a grain of mustard seed. Begin where you are. Live this present moment, this present hour as you now sit in your seats, in utter, utter submission and openness toward God. Listen outwardly to these words, but within, behind the scenes, in the deeper levels of your lives where you are all alone with God the Loving Eternal One, keep up a silent prayer, “Open Thou my life. Guide my thoughts where I dare not let them go. But Thou darest. Thy will be done.” Walk on the streets and chat with your friends. But every moment behind the scenes be in prayer, offering yourselves in continuous obedience” (Thomas R. Kelly, Holy Obedience — lecture, 1939).
I heard once that praying continually doesn’t mean walking around with your eyes shut spouting King James prayer language at all times.
It does mean keeping the lines open to God and living in a continual attitude of prayerfulness where everything in your life drives you seek God in the moment.
I’ve never been one to be able to pray for hours on end. I get five minutes in and my attention completely wanders off to anything and everything but God and prayer.
I can pray short popcorn prayers throughout the day as I feel the need. I can ask God to direct me back when ever I lose focus in prayer. I can keep praying badly until I learn to pray better (and what parent would ever turn away a child’s request because he or she didn’t ask correctly?)
For me, the goal is to pray more. My need is to pray especially when I don’t feel like it, when it feels like instead of ascending to the heavens, the words I pray are bouncing off the ceiling and coming right back at me. Even then, God is in the room with me and hears them anyway.
So this is me telling you and me to pray more.