Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Romans 12: 12

 

Pail sets a very hard standard for the way that he directs followers of Christ to enter into our daily lives. The tone here is not one of suggestion; rather, Paul is telling us what we are to do. The problem is that there are just too many hopeless things going on in our world for his imperative statement about rejoicing and being patient are hard to maintain when the voices all around are shouting about violence, terror, and retribution. Hope just seems like a far off concept that has no substance to flesh it out, and patience through the tribulations of these days is not something that is even on the mind. I want answers and the ability to affix responsibility and blame. My heart is aflame with fearful images of injustice, and it wants blood to satisfy the demands of those flames.

 

So, there is the third element in Paul’s short list of attributes that make up the rhythm of daily life for Christians to follow. That is prayer. Not just the formal or occasion-based sort of praying that we often learn and expect to engage in. There is another quality that he affixes to the prayer that encounters the brokenness of the world and brings the person who speaks it into a Christ-infused perspective about it all. The idea of being constant in that prayer can change everything for us. This approach to prayer takes our immediate responses to all that is happening in our world and in our own lives and overlays them with Christ’s attitude and view of what it means to seek redemption and to bring peace to all people and places.

 

It seems that this attitude of being constant in prayer opens up my mind to process all of the information and each encounter of my day through the transformative mind of Christ that now resides within me. It also changes my bias, preconditioning, and anticipatory outcomes into a viewpoint that allows me to see and to participate in Christ’s broader view of His purpose and plan for everything. This sort of life-long constant prayer means that Christ speaks to my heart and my mind about and in all that I encounter. It establishes within me the hope that knows that there is a redemptive purpose in all that comes my way, and it provides me with the strength and the confidence in my Lord that leads to patience when all around me I hear the voices of hatred, pain, and retribution. Prayer speaks Christ into it all.

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