How often do you pray? I don’t mean a quick prayer at dinner. I mean really, really pray. For most Christians, I think it is safe to say that the answer is “not enough.” I would put myself in that category.
There has been a recent explosion in mindfulness and meditation. My phone app store is filled with new meditation apps, trying to teach you how to be mindful and to meditate.
I think that this is a great movement, although I also feel that Christians are not taught how to be similarly mindful. Paul sat in a jail cell for long periods of time, writing letters that became books of the Bible.
He certainly spent a lot of time praying, but I am certain that it is not in the same manner that we pray in church or at home. I imagine that it was for a much longer period of time, like these mindfulness apps try to teach, and that you entered the meditative prayer session with a clear question in mind. At the end of the prayer, which could take a while, you may have gotten closer to an answer.
The importance of prayer cannot be overstated. In Christ’s last moments before crucifixion, he was found in the garden with his disciples where he most liked to meditate in prayer (John 18:1-32.
The art of prayer is being lost, and you can see how much Paul values even the prayers of other people, for he knows the value that it has had for him. What value has it had for you?