"a small device that releases a spring or catch and so sets off a mechanism, especially in order to fire a gun."
I find triggers quite useful. Not necessarily for firing a gun, but for firing prayers.
I think if we polled the Christians we know about their prayer life, we would find that most would admit prayer is the most difficult and perhaps perplexing part of their walk with the Lord.
The Apostle Paul encouraged us to "Pray without ceasing." (I Thessalonians 5:17.) It seems to me that praying without ceasing must be something done simply and easily if it is to be accomplished at all. If it necessitates a particular posture or formulation of phrases how could it ever be done once, much less done consistently?
I find I need triggers to help me with prayer, especially consistent prayer.
There are so many instances in our lives which can prompt us to prayer if we allow them. For example, whenever I hear a siren I have a group of individuals for whom I pray at that very instance. This includes my son, Noah, who is a deputy sheriff; Micah, a police officer and the son of a friend of ours; Micah's mother Pam, who like most mothers of those put themselves in harm's way, fears for the safety of her child. I also pray for a friend of ours, Sterling, who is a firefighter and EMT, and for Kristy a new EMT.
These prayers are brief, sometimes simply, "Lord work in their lives where you see need." But would the prayer be any better for abundance of words? The Lord knows their lives, their hearts and their needs in reference to His eternal purpose in Christ Jesus.
Whenever I see a school bus, I pray for our friend Karen who drives a school bus. When I see something red, I pray for my dear friend Peggy, whom I call my "red carrot sister," or as I prefer, "ma carotte rouge soeur" because doesn't everything sound better in French? Since my favorite color is red, there are abundant opportunities for these prayers.
Times of pain and sickness are more excellent triggers for prayer. When we are hurting, instead of concentrating on our own pain, we can pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are hurting, both emotionally and physically. They may be people we know, or those we have never met, but the Lord knows them. I am quite positive that praying for others in our pain renders some of the sweetest fragrances to the Lord.
Of course, prayer lists are good too, and I have those conveniently stored in the calendar of my phone. But I don't think the Lord intended for our prayers to be just one block of time, but a continual conversation with Him. I know if I only spoke to my husband once a day he would not be long in asking me what was wrong. If we are frequently engaging ourselves with the Lord throughout the day we will be more likely to walk in His paths than if prayer only happens in a "one and done" sort of manner.
The most important thing about prayer is to realize how very dear our prayers are to the Lord. ". . .but the prayer of the upright is His delight." (Proverbs 15:8.) The Scriptures don't say He tolerates our prayers, or He enjoys them, but that our prayers are His delight. Let us seek ways and places and triggers to lift up our voice to the Lord throughout our day, bringing delight to His heart and encouragement, comfort and peace to our own.
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,
and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;"
If My Voice
Words & Music by Glen Davis
If my voice is sweet to you, Lord,
As Your Word declares,
And if somehow you find delight in my prayers.
And if Your face You call me to seek,
Lord,Your face I will seek…
And my voice You will hear.