"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind"
Friends are an extremely important part of my life. I make a conscious effort to spend time with each of them. It may be a day at the beach, a quiet walk on the river front, a movie, or dinner out. Though each is unique and each enjoys diverse recreational activities, all of their different preferences make up a joyous occasion. If I am busy during the year I make additional contact on the phone or through emails to touch base with everyone. I do this all because I love my friends and each one is important to me.
I also feel the same way about spending time with a good friend through prayer. Most of my life I felt as though I was a good Christian by praying when I thought it best. I'd pray when I was falling apart or couldn't meet my daily demands. I'd be sure to pray when God blessed me with something really special. Often I'd pray for a friend in desperate need. Recently, these past few years, I've been praying more when I'm out in nature. It seems that while walking or bike riding I feel closer to God and all his creations. I began sensing that God wanted me to spend more time with him by praying without an agenda. The more I prayed, the more God's presence I sensed. He began guiding me steadily through those little obstacles in life. Most importantly, through prayer I get to spend quality time with him.
Once I got going I found God's gentle guidance in praying for other things besides my own. Christ taught that more than anything God wants our hearts. He commanded us to internalize today's verse. This is the first and greatest commandment. We pray because we love God wholly and want him to develop our lives that will glorify him.
So take a walk, or a delicious bike ride and take these prompts with you as you pray:
- Feel closer to God
- Express love for God
- Confess what you did wrong
- Escape the worries of your world
- Thank God for something he's given you
- Ask God to help you today
- Ask God to make you a better person
- Intercede for others
- Just because God wants you to spend time with him
- God wants you to pray for others
- Because you just like talking to God
- Because you know you should