Sunday, February 5, 2006

Life Prayer

“Let us pray, let us pray
Everywhere in every way
Every moment of the day
It is the right time.
For the Father above
Is listening with love
And He wants to answer us
So let us pray.”*

The other day I was having devotions in my room. I finished copying out a hymn text, and began to write in my prayer journal, when just then, from downstairs, my mom called me to come down to do our morning school – memorization and recitation with the kids. I quickly finished the line I was writing, slammed my notebook shut, and ran downstairs. I sort of threw myself around as I was getting seated – just to let everybody know that I was being inconvenienced. I joined the recitations grudgingly, and pretty much made it plain that I would rather be elsewhere.

In the middle of my bad attitude, I was suddenly hit with a convicting thought: what on earth did I mean by stopping my devotions halfway through, coming downstairs, and living like the things I was learning and praying for had no bearing on my life? What gave me the entitlement to pray great and fancy words to God, then come downstairs and act like I hated my family? What made me think I could pretend that Mom helping us out with school was an inconvenience? It would serve me right if I had to learn Latin, Catechism, and different chapters of the Bible by myself! Thankfully, God allows us grace, and not everything we deserve.
But in what manner should I have responded?

I believe that all of our lives reflect as individual prayers to God. Just because I got stopped halfway through my vocal one, did not mean that I needed to go down to live apart from the things I prayed for only seconds earlier. I should have continued my prayer towards God by pleasing him through a good attitude and a loving spirit.

Did I just say a good attitude and a loving spirit? How often do we as teenagers try to have a good attitude and a loving spirit? Don’t we just tend to assume, “All teenagers have a bad attitude and are self-centered, therefore, if I act that way, nobody is going to blame me.”? So, who set that standard, and why do Christian kids think they are entitled to behave the same way?

During the teen years we have much more time for friendships than we will when we are grown. This is the time that we build those relationships to last us for after we’re adults. Since we are able to be in contact with so many people, what sort of testimony are we showing to them? Are we showing them a life that is set apart – and full of joy – or an ordinary teenager who is disrespectful and self-centered like the rest?

Live your prayer today, and make it acceptable to God. Let Him know you’re thankful for your family, by treating them with love and respect. Let Him know that you love Him, by loving those he put closest to you.

“Just because we say the word, ‘Amen’
Doesn’t mean this conversation needs to end”*

*Steven Curtis Chapman – Let Us Pray
(From the album, “Signs of Life”)