October 5, 2016

DAY FIVE - How do you pray? 31 Days of Life Happens... and so We Pray!

Here's the thing... when I came to know the Lord, I was twenty one.  

I had a few vague memories of being in a room where prayer was happening... maybe at bedtime at a friends house, or at church at the end of service, or in the hallway at school --but those events never actually involved me and so prayer was this huge unknown when I became a follower.

I was open to prayer, but I had never actually prayed before. At least not that I could remember, and not in a purposeful, I-expect-an-answer sort of way! 

I longed to know how to pray and to believe that my prayers made a difference!

I mentioned earlier this week how I am so very thankful I got saved into a community who taught that prayer was a normal conversation.  I was taught to pray as if Jesus was sitting right there, across from me, leaning in and listening to me as I poured out my heart. (--um, because He IS! He IS sitting right there, across from me and from you!)

I was taught to pray about everything... that nothing was too big or too small to bring to God in prayer!

Maybe you were raised in church and prayer has just always been a part of your life! Maybe you learned Scripture as a child and prayed the Word at bedtime. Maybe you memorized blessings to the saints and have recited prayers and prayed the rosary so many times you can't even count anymore...

...Or maybe you are like I was and prayer is a foreign concept to you. It's not really something you do or something you are comfortable with.

Prayer is so much second nature to me now that I barely remember learning HOW to pray, but I do remember asking people around me how it was supposed to be done!

I didn't want to mess it up or do it wrong!

Are you ready for some good news?
There really is no 'right' and 'wrong' way to pray!

Anne Lamott has this great quote about prayer:
 'Here are the two best prayers I know: 'Help me, help me, help me' and 'Thank you, thank you, thank you.' ~ Anne Lamott

He is so wanting to answer your prayers! Just ask Him... tell Him what you need, and then watch and see how He will come through for you! Because, He will! He WILL come through for you!

I guess I learned how to pray when I was busy learning how to love.  --How to love the Lord, and the Word, and the people He put in my path.

Heidi Baker says to simply love the one in front of you.

I think the longer I kept Jesus in front of me and learned how to love Him, I learned how to talk with Him --and that is simply what prayer is! Talking with God.

Some people like the memorized prayers and the blessings... they love the ritual and heritage of it and that is fine. But I pray they also learn how to pray using their own words... pouring out their own heart.

Some people love lists and they write down the needs and requests and they pray through each one, checking it off as they go. Again... that is fine -and powerful and good. But I hope they are open to following His lead if He happens to lead them out of the box and off the tidy list they've written down.

Some people take a position --whether it is bowing their heads, or kneeling on their knees, or clasping their hands... and it ushers in an awareness that they are communicating with God and that is fine... it is physical and visual and practical... it is honoring and humbling and holy --or at least, it can be! But, again, I hope they find they can pray with their eyes wide open, in the midst of a crowd or in the carpool lane, and God hears them just the same!

So my answer to "HOW do you pray?" is this:
"How do YOU pray?"
It turns out I did pray, long before I knew who I was praying to!  I would plead for help... for mercy... for (fill in your own desperate teenaged prayers!) 

But once I met the One to whom I pray, well --I began to learn the language of love. I began to tap in to the rhythm of how His heart beats and prayer became the outpouring of how I talked with Him!

Tomorrow we will talk about the practice of Pressing In and learning to Hear His Voice!

I hope you'll join me!

 Today is Day Five of 31 Days of Life Happens...and so We Pray! If you missed the kick-off and official 'Home page' for this series, you can go HERE and catch up! You will find links for each days' postings, added daily throughout the month. If you'd prefer to have them delivered right to you, I invite you to enter your email address to the right ('Subscribe Here') and subscribe to the blog. That way, once a week, each post is delivered to your inbox in a single email over the weekend and you'll be sure not to miss a thing!

Does this ring true to you? What has been your experience or relationship with Prayer? I'd love to hear!


  1. I think a lot of people are afraid to pray because they are afraid they'll pray wrong. I love the simplicity of how Ann Lamott calls us to pray. Prayers don't have to be fancy at all.

  2. Hey lookie... it worked! xoxo

    I think you are right! Isn't there such freedom in knowing you can't really do it wrong?


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