WARNING: This is a no-edit zone…
At a conference this weekend, a woman lamented on prayer–as in, she wasn’t sure she was saying all that needed to be said.
In the New Testament, the Disciples asked Christ to teach them to prayer. He did, telling them what we’ve come to know as “The Lord’s Prayer.”
Prayer is a powerful blessing. It gives us the opportunity to speak to God and to be heard by God. Yet it’s the conversation that is significant. Not reciting empty words by rote–and I mean by that, words that are recited and not heartfelt.
It is what is in the heart when we pray that most matters. Being grateful, offering praise, speaking unvarnished truth. I often imagine God being the indulgent parent, listening to me wade through my troubles and sharing my joys with Him. But I also imagine Him on occasion dozing through some of my diatribes.
How we pray matters. But more than the words, it is the way we approach prayer itself. Go to God with a humble heart, and speak honestly to Him. He eagerly awaits your conversations.
One of the most powerful prayers I’ve ever heard was from a very young child. He folded his hands, closed his eyes and bowed his head, then whispered, “Thank you.”
As an imperfect parent, that prayer was perfect. Excellent. Heartfelt and honest. It said what was in that child’s heart.
God is a perfect parent, and as much as that simple “Thank You” touched me, I’m sure it was even more precious to Him.
So pray like you mean it because you do mean it. If that takes time, give it. If it takes words, use them. But don’t be deluded into thinking that hours at prayer without the investment behind it is the same. It isn’t.
Affirmation. Inspiration. Confirmation.