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Pray Alert. Pray thankful.

What does it mean to pray with an alert mind?

I think it means to pay attention.

To what, you ask?

I think that answer is two-pronged.

I think that as we pray, which we’re to do constantly, we should be alert to the world around us.

Is there a catastrophe somewhere? We should pray for those involved in that.

Have you just learned that the friend of a friend is suffering? Pray for that one right then.

No matter what we learn about, there’s a reason for prayer. If it’s that the sun rose and life is good, pray a prayer of praise. If it’s a terminal diagnosis, pray a prayer for healing. If it’s a loss, pray a prayer of grief.

The other way we should be alert in prayer is to be attentive to the Holy Spirit. Scripture tells us that He is in us and will guide us. The Book also says He prays for us when we can’t utter a word.

It stands to reason if we allow Him to direct our prayers so that we’re praying God’s will for that situation, we should be attentive to Him.

There have been times when I’ve been praying fervently for a situation to have a certain outcome when I have sensed the Spirit telling me to hush. It was as if He said that outcome wasn’t in the Father’s will. That’s hard to accept, but I hushed.

And thankful? May our every request to God be dripping in gratitude. Even before He answers we can be grateful that He hears us, grateful He turns to us, grateful that He answers us, even if the answer is no.

I’ve gotten in the habit of saying “Thank You” at the end of each request, a reminder to me to have a heart of gratitude and a declaration to Him that I am grateful, no matter how He handles the request I’ve made.

Today as we pray, let’s pay attention. Let’s open our prayer eyes to the world around us and especially to the Spirit of God. Let’s see how God answers our attentive and thankful prayers.

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