"There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God. Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it; yet I do not advise you to do it from that motive. It is not pleasure which we ought to seek in this exercise; but to let us do it from a principle of love, and because God would have us."
-Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presences of God
I have read this quote many of times, but I think for the first time I am beginning to understand it. What is my motivation for prayer? Should it be a time where I am asking God for all the things I want and think I need, or should it be a time where I just communicate my appreciation and love for him? I think that most of the time we get it wrong. There are so many people who try and put prayer inside a box, like they do with all things spiritual. In my opinion that takes away the true essence of the act of prayer. I have always wondered why we are taught at an early age to pray before we eat, before we go to bed, and pray before any big event comes up. I am struggling with this whole concept right now, mainly because my prayer life sucks. After reading this quote, I am humbled and in awe of what prayer really is. It is a gift, not a right. If you have read any of his work, you will notice that Brother Lawrence didn't just pray at certain times, when he was supposed to, instead he was in a continual conversation with God. It is my desire to have this type of relationship with God, where I am talking with him throughout my day, not just when I think I need him. God is not something that we put on a shelf and only pick up when we are in need. If truth be told, we are, at least I am, in constant need of God. I wonder just how our perspective on our faith journey would change if we would posture ourselves in prayer at all times. Again, thinking outside the box here, I am not speaking about being on your knees, with your head bowed, and your eyes closed posture, I am simply suggesting that we make it our goal to be in continual communication with our Lord.