As many of you know, a primary purpose for our trip to Bosnia was to pray for the city of Sarajevo, the people, and the church. This happened in many different ways: prayer walks through neighborhoods, team gatherings at Izvor or our lodgings, and even praying with the local church at their weekly prayer meetings.
One encouraging aspect of all this praying is that prayer became a regular part of life while we were there. Our team was so comfortable and accustomed to praying with one another that any time and any circumstance could become reason for prayer. For example, on Friday night, we were riding the tram back to our lodging after working at Izvor to prepare for the open house. The tram at that hour of day was filled with 20-somethings who were all dressed up and on their way to the clubs and coffee houses. As we stepped off the train, I found myself thinking about how unreached this group is in Sarajevo. They are hungry for something, and desperately seeking life in all the wrong places. A few of us were walking together, and so I simply started praying for these young adults and asking God to fill them with hope and love. When I finished, a few others in our group who were walking ahead of us turned around and said, "we just prayed the same thing!" This was a common occurrence- what we saw and experienced got translated into prayer as it was happening.
If I could bring anything back to my day to day living in the States, it would be this dynamic. How often do I get caught up in my routines and my schedule and forget to pray? More often than I'd like to admit. With our prayer focus in Sarajevo, I began to understand what it meant to "pray without ceasing." When you pray often enough, your heart starts turning to prayer without your conscious brain even putting thought to it.
I want my heart to be so connected to the Father that I act this way all the time. I want to see the line between my normal life and my prayer life begin to blur until it's just prayer/life together. In Sarajevo, we developed the sense that we were walking through each day with Christ. Could it not be the same here? I believe it could be, but I know it takes a focus and a determination to return regularly to Father. But I am encouraged to think that if I will do this often enough, prayer can and will become second nature. Prayer will become like breathing in and breathing out.
May you walk with Jesus through this day and find your journey filled with prayer-