I have never found prayer to be very easy, or dare I say it, very natural to me. In all honesty, I find it difficult enough expressing myself to a physical person infront of me, sharing feelings, fears and failures, let alone trying to put a voice on these to a God that I can not physically see. It’s also quite daunting when you stop and think about it. You’re praying to a God that you believe MADE the entire world (and more besides), knows everyone in it and everything going on in it and yet you are talking to him about your life, your concerns and what’s going on in your world. Self-absorbed much?
There are times though when prayer has come naturally to me. When things are overwhelming and there is no-one else to share that with. When I’m somewhere peaceful, tranquil and usually alone (or at least undisturbed) when you can just sit and go ‘wow’ at the world.
Prayer is different things to different people. I almost like the idea of the regimented prayer of other religions, at certain times in certain ways. I guess it’s the accountability of it that appeals.
In my bid to try and work out why I find prayer more unnatural that I probably should I’ve had a look at what God says about it. Here’s some well-known Bible verses that I found to help:
Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet and secluded place so you won’t be tempted to roleplay before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.
And then I began to realise that God meets you where you are. If all I can do when I come to him is just sit and sigh, then that’s OK. He knows my heart, he knows everything that I can’t even put into words and there’s a lot of comfort in that. So, I suppose my challenge to myself would be to pray, even when I don’t think I have anything to say, to not be worried about the words that I’m thinking or saying, but to the heart I’m offering. And, as important as it is to come to God with my fears, failures and concerns, it’s just as important to be thankful for all the things I have. And if I start thinking about that, perhaps God can deal with anything else.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way that God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.