Wikipedia defines prayer as “an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication.” There is so much more, but quoting Wikipedia is not my purpose in writing this today. My purpose is to give you my thoughts and my feelings about prayer.
Prayer is talking to my Father, my Father in heaven. Telling Him how my day is going, telling Him when I’m happy and when I’m sad. I don’t have to pretend with God because, by the time I get done pretending with everyone else, my “pretend meter” is empty. He knows it all anyway so what would be the point of pretending.
There are many ways to pray and many types of prayers. The way I pray best is when I write my prayers down. That way I can remember all of the details and make sure I’m telling them to God through my words. God has given me this gift of words so it makes sense for me to use it when I praise Him, when I thank Him, and when I petition Him. My prayers have also been more thoughtful and complete since I’ve started writing them down.
When most people think about prayer though, they think of speaking it–either out loud or to themselves, and that intimidates them. This results in hastily mumbled prayers, to bless food, for example, or long, flowery prayers that don’t have much meaning. Praying out loud can also be intimidating to people because they don’t know what to say, they don’t think they’re saying the right thing, or they think that a church elder or staff member should be praying. Women also have the added burden of thinking that men should be leading the prayers. I confess that I’ve had some of these thoughts and feelings myself which is why I started writing my prayers down.
I know God doesn’t mind if I write my prayers down. He wants to have a relationship with me, after all. But, I would like to get better at speaking them because God doesn’t care how we speak our prayers. He wants us to talk to Him, and He wants to talk to us. No magic or formula necessary. Just a conversation. It’s important to Him, and it should be important to those of us who are people of faith.
Prayer has become important to me in the last few years because God has sometimes been the only one I could talk to. He has been with me in the pit, and He has been with me on top of the mountain. He has been with me as I’ve scribbled words in my journals, and He has been with me as I’ve said clumsy words aloud. He has been with me as people have spoken words over me even when I didn’t have the courage to speak aloud. Prayer is all of that and more. God is just waiting for us to take the first step towards Him like it says in Revelation 3:20. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
This is the relationships God wants us to have with Him. Close enough to eat and close enough to talk, i.e.,prayer. May we all know the true meaning of prayer!
God’s blessings on all of you today!