I talk to a lot of people that grew up in a church atmosphere, and for some reason most of these people still don’t understand how to pray. I have heard people tell me that “I feel like I’m doing it wrong” or “I don’t think I understand prayer”. Guys, listen up!
PRAYER IS NOT A METHODICAL RELIGIOUS MOTION YOU TAKE!
Prayer is simple. It is coming to God from a sincere heart, and ‘talking’. In John 15:15 Jesus said “I call you friends”. Think for a moment about your friends. Now think about a specific friend, or mentor that you greatly admire and respect. How do you talk to them? You can start with that idea, then imagine God: A holy, beautiful, sinless, perfect “person”. It is hard to understand with human understanding, however my case stands that you can talk to God like he is sitting in the chair next to you (with upmost respect of course).
For instance, when I get up in the morning, I say a short small breath prayer. What is that? Well, it goes like this: God, lead me guide me and direct me today. Let me be a light unto a dark world, Amen.
However, I generally worship “talk to” God all throughout the day. When I am getting ready for work, I talk to God about my concerns for the day. When I am driving to work, I pray he protects me as I travel, and put me where he wants me. When I am at work, I thank him for the blessings that happen immediately as they occur. I give thanks in EVERYTHING. 1 Thes 5:18 says give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. If I hear a praise song that makes me remember what God did for me, I praise him and thank him and glorify him in my still, quiet places. This song always gets me going :
When I think about the Lord http://youtu.be/QsEGRB695hs
Children are often times the BEST prayers. Why? Because they pray because they want to, not because they feel they have to.
Prayer is basic. Prayer is heartfelt. Prayer is the sincere wanting and needing to be closer to God, not just about asking God to grant your wishes like a genie. God is not going to give you everything you ask, and it doesn’t mean you have to blame him when you don’t get what you thought you wanted. It could be that there is something better coming down the pipes for you. Prayer is giving your heart to God, and asking him to search it, and reveal what belongs there and what doesn’t. Prayer is humbly presenting yourself for searching. Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Prayer is that simple. A little advice, prepare yourself before you come to God. I used to pray this BEFORE I prayed – “God, shut down my thoughts and restless body, let me forget this world for a few uninterrupted moments with you. I want to come to you today, please reveal yourself to me Lord.”
There is no right or wrong way to pray. Prayer is between YOU and GOD. If you pray, and feel God – then he heard you. If you are unsure, maybe you can visit with someone who can help guide you. Sometimes “being unsure” is just a matter of the heart. Sometimes you just feel too full of sin or guilt to feel like you are “worthy” of God to listen or talk back. If that is you, LET IT GO. God will take your burden if you just ask. Matthew 11:28 says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
IF GOD SAID IT – HE MEANT IT.
I will leave you with this: Rev 3:20 Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
If you still aren’t sure that you are being heard, or you feel you don’t understand prayer – Here is something you can start praying for and it may change your life.
For those of you who don’t know what Brookshires is – it is a grocery chain here in Texas, like a Publix, Winn Dixie, or Food Lion would be. The Blog You Rang, God? reminded me about this story that has yet to be told. I used to believe that God only showed up on Sundays. I thought you could only touch God through being in church. Boy, was I mistaken.
One evening I went to Brookshires to pick up three simple items: Pepsi, Advil, Little Debbie snack cakes. My trip inside wasn’t going to take that long, so I didnt even bother getting a cart. I picked up item #1, gathered item #2, but when I got to isle 10 to pick up item #3… my knees buckled. I was with my boyfriend at the time, and he laughed at me as my legs wiggled beneath me and said I must’ve been so blown away by him my knees buckled. I laughed, and said “No buddy, but I know what this feeling is and I must get out of this store!” I grabbed my item, rushed to the check out, and went straight to the car. There I felt the wind of the spirit come over me and I began to shake uncontrollably.
Now in retrospect this part of the story is funny, but then it was just wild… He walks out to the car and sees me shaking like a leaf and almost convulsing in the driver seat (I was parked..btw, you can’t drive while in a full on holy ghost fit). Anyways, he was ready to call 911 and hospitalize me. Poor thing, he didn’t understand. To be honest, I can’t say that I did either. I just told him to go away, that God and I had some business to tend to. Needless to say he didn’t leave so what ended up happening was this….
I got the holy ghost, touched his hand, then he got the holy ghost. So here we both are, in the middle of Brookshires parking lot, fully lit, cars driving by, security camera fixed on us.. and I am convulsing inside the car, he is shaking outside the drivers side door, and we are both looking mighty silly looking like clucking chickens.
He ended up falling out on the concrete before God let go of him. Once that happened, I got the spirit of laughter, and couldn’t quit. I laughed, and laughed, and laughed..Oh, It was quite a sight to see. When I die, I’m gonna ask for God to replay that for me. I think I will get a kick out of that.
What I didn’t know, was he had never experienced the holy ghost before. He also never spoke in tongues. Well, those two things changed that night. God is definitely real. Tongues is real. Holy laughter is real. God will show up on Sunday in church, and on a Monday in a grocery store.
Oh what a life!
Well tonight was quite an eventful evening. I decided to come home after work and go watch a movie and have dinner like a mini-mid-week date night. Well after watching Wrath of the Titans (I do not recommend it btw) we went to dinner. That is where all the fun happened! I’m sitting across the table from my date, and we are having casual, random conversations.Then all of the sudden, he closes his eyes to pray. (Granted I thought it was a little odd because we pray when the food comes, not generally before I smell it coming out of the kitchen)..
But at any rate, I rolled with it. I noticed he prayed an awful long time, but I felt it would have been rude of me to interrupt. So I sat, waited, watched, huffed *once. After that he looked up and said “God is on me”. I didn’t look at him like he was crazy because I know how God shows up, but I was perplexed not knowing what he was showing up like that for.
I ended up eating half my meal alone because he went to the car to take the phone call. At any rate, I just sit here and think about it. Who would have thought that God would show up before dinner prayer? Before Sunday. It reminded me how we forget that God is all around us all the time. I have spent so much time calling out to him here lately, that I probably wouldn’t hear him call me because my line would be busy. I was a little jealous tonight when he got the call from God, the holy spirit of God, and I was left wanting. Then again, I sit here and realize that the call wasn’t for me this time. This situation reminds me of the Brookshires Holy Ghost experience….Ohh Ohh.. I have my next Blog!!