A lot of people struggle with praying. Perhaps you are one of them. Perhaps you aren’t. But prayer is crucial to intimacy with God and something that needs to be discussed.
This may sound harsh, but I don’t care how often you read your bible, or go to church, or how often you serve. Without prayer, your spiritual life will always be lacking.
When most people think of prayer, they think of something boring and structured. Images of people kneeling with hands folded and head bowed might pop into your mind. But that isn’t what prayer has to look like.
A lot of people get hung up on what to say. Maybe you’ve been taught the ACTS acrostic – Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication. Seriously? Just writing that out makes me crazy. Does anyone, especially a new believer, even know what supplication means?
If there is something that we, as humans, are good at, it’s developing a formula for everything and prayer is not immune.
Obviously, I get pretty passionate when I talk about prayer because we absolutely, hands down, make it harder than it is, and that makes Satan smile. The harder we think it is to pray, the less we do it. The more cumbersome we think it is, the more we dread it.
Please hear me when I say this: Prayer is simply a conversation. Nothing more. Nothing less. Period. There is no right way or wrong way to pray.
How do you talk to your friends and family? That is how you need to talk to God.
No flowery words are needed. He knows you don’t understand the meaning of half of them anyway. If you don’t know what sanctification means, don’t use it. You aren’t fooling Him.
My prayers differ all the time, and most people would think that I’m crazy if they knew how I prayed.
The other morning, I looked back over my prayer journal, and it immediately hit me that someone reading it would probably think that I’m out of my mind because it sounds like a letter to a real person. And guess what? It is.
Sometimes, I sit in my chair, coffee cup in hand, and imagine Jesus sitting in the chair across from me. I talk aloud (oh, the benefits of being single) and I recount yesterday’s events or what I have planned for the day. I talk through any hurts or disappointments and anything that is bothering me.
Sometimes I give him a high-five for something awesome that He has done.
Sometimes I just sit and listen.
Sometimes I have angry, irreverent prayers. Prayers where I am animated – throwing my arms up in frustration.
Sometimes my prayers bring me to my knees or flat on my face.
Sometimes my prayers are one word. Sometimes they are thousands.
Sometimes I write my prayers down. Other times, I say them aloud.
Sometimes my prayer is singing before Him. Other times, words are insufficient.
The point is this. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray without ceasing. Pray when you are standing at the copy machine at work. Pray when you are at a red light. Pray in the morning when you wake. Pray in the evening. Whatever you do: pray.
What about you? How do you pray? What do your prayers look like?