It can feel strange at first when you start praying. If you are like me the word itself can make you uncomfortable to begin with. We can be so used to thinking negatively about prayer. We may have heard comments such as “Like that is going to work!”, “Do they really think someone is listening” or “Look at the weirdo speaking to himself!” Yet when man finds himself in a pit of despair and tragedy strikes who do they so often turn to, whether Christian or otherwise? They turn to the one that deep down they know is the only answer to their problem, the one they have supressed in their lives believing they have the strength themselves to get through life but now they discover they are weak and they need the one who has infinite strength, Jesus.
You may have heard other people pray and it may sound complex or emotions may be displayed that are foreign to you. Please do not let this dampen your spirit for prayer. Prayer is different for everyone. Put simply, prayer is a conversation, a chat between you and your saviour and you can speak to him as you would your father, your friends, or your spouse. God has no expectations of you. He just wants you to come to him. He can see into your heart so before you utter a word, he already knows what you are going to say so think on this and just let your heart empty before him. If you need help to pray, ask him, if you do not know what to pray, ask him. A helpful acronym I have learnt to guide prayer is:-
Begin by finding a time where the house is quiet, and you can be alone and uninterrupted … if this is possible! Then with eyes closed or open, hands open or closed in prayer position, lying down, standing up, in the shower, hanging out washing just begin to talk to God. You can talk out loud or in your head, God will hear either way. Imagine that Jesus is sitting with you. He is looking into your eyes and he just wants you to accept him, he wants you to acknowledge what he did for you and love him for it, he wants you to recognise what gifts he has bestowed upon you, to confess your sins to him so that he can forgive you and help you to become more like him and he wants you to tell him your desires.
As I write this, I am very conscious of the problems I have with prayer myself. Suffering from a continually active mind which from time to time represents itself as anxiety I find it difficult to focus. My husband gave me a great tip … Pray little and often throughout the day! Perhaps you are having a lovely walk with your dogs, just say a quick thank you to God for the blessing of these puppies and the health you have to be able to walk with them. Perhaps you are doing gardening in the sun, tell God how wonderful a creator he is that he has created such beautiful flowers! If you are stung by a bee and a less than desirable word flows from your mouth, confess your sin to God and ask for his healing hands to rest upon the sting and take the pain from you.
Another confusing thing can be who to pray to! I have heard many people pray to Jesus and I have heard people pray to God. I have also heard people pray to the Spirit. These are all perfectly acceptable as God is both one and all of these persons. If you feel comfortable chatting to Jesus and imagine him sitting with you then pray to Jesus, if you have more of an idea of God on his heavenly throne then chat to him and if you want the Spirit to come into your life more abundantly then pray to him.
I am beginning to realise that this is a huge topic, so I am going to unpack this further tomorrow but meantime, happy praying and enjoy your special time with your father.
Love and Blessings