Prayer is such a tricky thing these days. There seem to be countless ways to “connect” with God, all claiming to be the one and only way to pray to our Lord. When someone outside of the Christian tradition here’s the word prayer, they often think of the traditional way of praying: bowing of the head, folding of the hands, and speaking softly the words being said. This traditional way of praying certainly has its place and is in no way an incorrect way of connecting with God. But who’s to say prayer isn’t throwing your hands up in the air in anger and confusion towards God? Who is to say prayer isn’t falling on your knees alone in grief and mourning to find comfort in the Lord? And who is to say that prayer isn’t in recognizing God’s beauty and wonder throughout the world, without whispering even a single word? I want to challenge those in the faith to seek out their own personal way of prayer.
Prayer is one of the most unique and personal things we have in the Christian faith. It is how we communicate with the Lord, bringing us into His presence as we seek guidance, strength, and wisdom. Too often, however, prayer is what can make or break a faith. We are told that prayer connects us with the Lord, but what if when we pray we feel nothing? I feel as if this is because we no longer find our own unique way of prayer. Prayer has become something we mindlessly say before we fall asleep at night, or something we politely listen to in church or elsewhere. Let us change that. We need to reexamine ourselves and our prayer lives to find where we personally feel God’s presence. Not where our friends, church, or society see, hear, or feel God. But where we alone see His work. This can be through the beautiful, melodic line of a piece of music. It can be through the gentle breeze that moves through the trees on a spring day. Or it can be through the invigorating sense of peace found through community with others. Whatever it may be, discover it for yourself. Find the place where you see God and live in that. There isn’t a set list of words that can be used while praying. We don’t need to go into prayer knowing what we want to say. If our head is talking instead of our hearts, it isn’t true prayer. Prayer isn’t about saying the right thing, or even saying anything at all. It is about being one in the presence of our Lord. God yearns to hear us just as we yearn to hear Him. Never stop praying because you don’t feel as if God is there. He is always listening. Whether that’s just before the biggest exam of your life, in church worshiping with others, or when you’re alone at home in front of your computer. He is always there to listen, to love, and to guide.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” 1 John 5:14