9.05.2016

Thoughts on Prayer


I think prayer works a lot differently than people realize. Its not just something that is picked up right away. It isn't just like picking up a telephone and calling a friend and expecting them to answer right away. Sometimes they do but most of the time they just don't. God doesn't ignore our call because He is busy. He sometimes waits to answer our call because He knows when we need Him to answer the most, and sometimes that means we need to wait patiently. But waiting isn't our thing. We are a fast moving society with the need for instant gratification, not people who sit around waiting for a good conversation with our Father. Think of a good friend who knows you well. I bet you didn't become instant best friends overnight and knew exactly how the other thinks immediately. It was cultivated over time. Our conversations with God are like that. It takes time to grow. Maybe a year, maybe ten years. I have no guarantee how fast you will grow but I can promise that if you work on it, you will have better conversations next year then you did last & that is what I am learning. It's not always an easy battle, you have good days and bad. You have days where you didn't say two words to Him and days where your entire heart spilled from your chest on the bathroom floor. The thing with it though is we need to keep pressing forward and speaking even when we are uncomfortable. Comfortable public prayer begins with a constant private prayer. Practically everyone has seen the empowering movie War Room. I know, I know I got that high too. The one where I thought I would sit in my personal "war room" and pray for anyone and everyone that comes to mind for hours on end. Well that is definitely not what happened. Last year, after watching that movie, I began to really analyze where my prayer life was. What stage I was in. I realized I was in the one where I avoided public prayer like the plague and said the normal "God bless this meal for our bodies" on average two times a day. And I was not okay with it. So of course I read a few books on prayer and started my journey of how to talk to God. After I showed a consistent interest God began to challenge me in ways that made me real uneasy. Like laying on my heart to pray over someone I gave a ride to at school. There was just two of us in the car and I can recognize when the Spirit is clearly pushing me so I did it. I was nervous and it was not a "neat" prayer but I felt brave after I finished. (Sidenote: When did Christian society teach us what the right and wrong way to pray anyway?) There is no right way or wrong way to go about learning to talk to your Father. Just speak and share and cry and laugh and seek Him. Studying Scripture teaches us who God is which means we have a better understanding that transfers over into our prayer life so it is necessary for them to serve together hand in hand. It's crazy the amount of growth that comes with private prayer. Public prayer becomes way less scary. The more you converse the more you recognize it has nothing to do with what other people hear but with who you are talking to. It begins to flow, not like a rehearsed conversation, but like an understanding washes over you and people, places and times come to the fore front of your mind. The Spirit uses your known mind to communicate what needs to be. There is literally no such thing as "The Best Pray-er" so we don't need to sit in fear of what other people think of the flow of our words. Just find joy in the daily encounters with your friend and know you are constantly growing and changing. This does impacts the way you communicate.
A place to begin: Talk about your day. What happened? Tell Him like you would tell your best friend on the phone. Figure out logistics of your conversation time such as the most ideal place and time for you. Understand that it will not be an easy beginning and it will not be a natural talent that you have. It takes time to grow a relationship so don't rush it. Know it is worth the wait.

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