I love to pray.
It's never been something I felt forced to do. Even when I was a complete mess in my walk with Christ during my preteen years, I would still go into the prayer room/office at our house and just still before the Lord. I didn't quite know His character the way Scripture so beautifully paints it. However, I knew He was ruler of all, and was the only One who could change my heart and heal the pain I was dealing with.
I still love to pray and probably stop for just a few seconds to have a mini-convo with the King at least...well, honestly, I don't know how many times a day I do that; it's a lot.
But that's the beautiful thing about prayer; it's ongoing.
We don't have to wait until we are in a large gathering, reading from a book of Common Worship.
We don't have to wait until sunrise or sunset. We don't have to wait until something bad happens. We don't have to only shout praises to Him. We can be real with Him.
I can stop typing at work for a little bit and ask Him to refocus my wandering mind on the task. I can suddenly smile at the thought of something sweet my husband said and whisper an almost inaudible "thank You, Father" into the air. I can thank Him for a meal, ask Him for direction, tell Him I trust Him, and even tell Him I'm nervous about the unknown. He knows that I'm flawed. He knows how much I need Him even more than I could ever begin to comprehend.
He knows you need Him too.
Go to Him.
Slow down for a moment and sit with Him.
I try not to get caught up in any kind of formula of prayer. I know several doctrines are taught on how we should pray, many of them being modeled after the Lord's Prayer found in Scripture. If you're unfamiliar with it, it reads:
"Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one."
|| Matthew 6:9:13, NIV ||
When Jesus prefaces this prayer with the statement, "This, then, is how you should pray:", I do not believe He meant we should say those exact words every time and nothing else. Mainly because He prayed in many ways throughout Scripture and we should always strive to imitate Him.
But there are a few things I notice that seem to come up over and over again when He prayed; He was grateful, He was bold, He was corporate-minded, He was honest, and He was humble.
Those are how I want my prayers to look.
I want them to be a time where I can be completely naked in spirit as I pour my heart out to my Daddy.
I want to be humble enough to see gratitude all around me, and know He's the one who provided it all. I want to speak (or write in my prayer journal) the gritty unpleasantries of my life in all honesty, and rest knowing He will still love me anyway. And I want to boldly make petition for His blessings to reign in my life.
I also, want to make sure my prayers aren't just about me. I want to pray for His kingdom as a whole. I want to look beyond my little corner of existence and pray for strangers around the world with the same amount of passion that I have for my own children.
I keep a little journal in my handbag (that I definitely don't pull out as much as I should), with prayer requests from other people and world issues I want to focus on each month. Mine is from ValMariePaper, but any little journal that's small enough for you to keep with you all day will do just fine. You could even keep the things you want to remember to pray about in the notes section of our cell phone. The point is to keep them somewhere you will actually see them. My husband even writes his on a sticky note and puts it on the inside cover of his Bible so he knows he'll see it.
I don't want this post to be one that gives you a list of things to try, but instead I pray it's a little reminder that you can engage in prayer all day everyday.
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