I complete most of my runs without injury, but occasionally one of my friends or I take a spill.  My friends have dodged disaster with impressive volleyball rolls and yoga-like balancing.  I’m less coordinated and have suffered more than my share of skinned knees and jammed wrists.  Whether there’s an obstacle to blame or merely smooth asphalt – the frequent culprit, I remember where we’ve eaten pavement.  As I approach those sites, I focus and lift my feet higher, refusing to be upended twice in the same place.  Unfortunately, my vigilance slides once I’m past the scene of a prior tumble.  Shuffling feet and poor effort resurface, waiting for the next nothing to trip over.  I’d like to focus consistently, but I’m easily distracted.  Scenery and thoughts trip me up when I’m alone, and when I’m with friends, the conversation and belly-laughing make the road almost disappear.  So it goes with my prayer life.  I get to feeling pretty haughty about my faith and believe I can go a bit on my own.  That’s when my face meets the road.

Pray without ceasing.  1 Thessalonians 5:17

“Really?” was my thought the first time I focused on that verse.  I didn’t get how someone could have a list long enough to make prayer ceaseless.  My immature faith understood prayer as a time to make requests.  I tried to ask for things within the bounds of God’s will, but my itinerary and wishes sidetracked me.  I’ve finally learned prayer is a conversation with God, and it can and should be constant.  It’s not always easy and sometime resembles an old-fashioned phone made of tin cans and string.  “Are You there?  Is that my answer?  I’m not hearing anything!”  I do know He’s there, and if I stop talking and give Him a chance, He responds.  A friend once gave me the acronym ACTS as a prayer guide – Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.  I love it.  Conversations with God come easy some days, but on grumpy days when I need a kick-start, I pull out ACTS and it initiates a dialogue.  My prayer life has morphed from a one-sided declaration of specific pleas to a conversation with a friend, ending with general petitions.  My all-time favorite catch-all request is for peace and understanding in everything.  I like to discuss the details, especially the names of those on my heart, but I have to fess-up that only God knows the particulars of what’s best for them and me.

I’m willing to let the scenery and conversations of future runs distract me because I’d rather suffer a minor injury than forgo those blessings.  I’m not willing, however, to let the things of this world distract me from God to the extent I can keep them out.  I’m aiming to lift my feet high and pray without ceasing.

Dear God, please help me want to talk with You and seek your guidance constantly through prayer.

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