How to Pray: An Age-Old Conundrum
Demons of depression chased me home. Hurrying, I pressed into the door. Before turning the handle, I rushed to Jesus, Whisper Your sweet everythings into my ears.
The one way the raised in Christ endure in all this dust and ash is praying in spirit and truth.
God knows I want to fight my own fights. Stick out my chest and take the tempter by the neck. But God knows something super-unnatural. Only Jesus delivers from this body of death. (Rom 7:24)
If I do not ask, I do not have — it’s as simple as that. (Jm 4:2)
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (Jn 15:7)
Here is a most comforting truth for the weary, worried soul: If you’re craving the fruit of God’s rightness, you can run right up to Jesus and ask for it — because God knows this branch can’t bear fruit apart from the Vine.
There’s no truer you than when you’re talking to God.
This hit me Saturday: the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. (Lk 11:1) The age-old question is still circulating today! How do we pray? For someone who types words all day, why, when talking to God, do I instantly run out of things to say? Psyching myself up for some one on one with God — within seconds I’m wondering what’s for lunch. You’ve felt this hunger, haven’t you?
Do we think God isn’t interested in us? God doesn’t have time for our requests? Silly as that sounds, I know many are raised to think this way. If we’ve ever felt our parents had little time for us, how could God ever fit us in?
I little-kid whined to God, It’s frustrating not sitting face to face and hearing Your audible voice. This poured over my head and filled my heart, Spirit is nearer.
When we talk to God, we’re under the skin. There’s no truer you than when you’re talking to Him. And isn’t this why it’s a constant conundrum? Talking to God is the realist we’ll ever be. And real is unfamiliar territory.
Prayer is presence. No hidden between us. God’s presence shattering our shallow understanding of what we’re made for — life in The Spirit. Where our burdens become easy and our heavy hearts light.
Prayer is not formal, it’s every day conversation with God who formed you.
I’ve taken to praying scripture. I’m getting to know God more and more — hearing His heart like never before — because listening to God is the bigger part of prayer. Katie Westenberg, author of I Choose Brave writes, “We often think of prayer as talking to God, but our communication with Him should be just as much, if not more, listening.”
I’m blown away how packed the bible is with prayers. In every verse I’m finding a prayer tucked inside it. And in each prayer is packed a heavenly desire God has for us.
Writing them as I read them, a list now rests under the cover of my bedtime bible. Starting mornings this way helps me continue listening and talking to God throughout the rest of the day.
It’s been a struggle to stay with it. But God covers that prayer as well: “Father, help me continue steadfastly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.” (Col 4:2)!
Prayer is not formal, it’s every day conversation with God who formed you. We wouldn’t dream of waking up to loved ones without one of these three: a word, a kiss, a hug, “Good morning”, “How did you sleep?”, “What does your day look like?”. This is how easy God invites us to connect with Him. We may not be able to touch His skin or hear his audible voice, but unlike anyone else, the Spirit never need leave us. Not for one moment are we left without a helper.
My prayer for us as we go about our day: Father, may we be anxious about nothing, and pray about everything, being thankful, making our requests known to You, God. May Your peace, which is beyond our limited understanding, guard our hearts and minds. (Phil 4:6)