Effortless Prayer

4 Jun

Do you pray daily? Do you engage with gusto or a timid, tentative style? Is your prayer life kind of a Santa Claus wish list or are you just earnestly wanting to be in conversation with a great and amazing God? In my younger years I prayed for better grades, a solution to the fight with a friend, finding the right outfit at the mall. Then as I matured, I was still using God as a bit of a vending machine as I put some time in, I would hope to get something to pop out.

Now I realize prayer is complex. Prayer has intricacies our simple minds cannot fully comprehend. Prayer is vast, prayer is deep. This is not to say that it is beyond our reach or capability, it simply means prayer takes time, thought and a willing nature. It has been said that prayer does not change God it changes the pray-er.

Prayer. Is. Not. Hard.

I came across a website recently called Prayer Possibilities authored by Kathryn Shirey. She offers 5 ways to ease into prayer and I shall elaborate a bit on each one.

  1. Keep it simple. God does not cherish flowery language and elevated thought. God is deeply pleased with a simple “Hello ” –a basic connection.
  2. Pray often. We get better at things we do frequently like brushing our teeth, tying our shoes, washing dishes, riding a bike or cooking our favorite meal. Frequency breeds finesse.
  3. Open your heart. Share the deepest thoughts with God. Even if you believe God already knows your deepest thoughts, saying them aloud or even repeating them silently validates them for both you and God.
  4. Be a prayer listener, not just a prayer speaker. Say the words, but keep your ears, eyes and other senses open to what God may bring to the conversation.
  5. Use The Lord’s Prayer as a “go to.” Sometimes when words are elusive and thoughts run dry, speak the words taught to the disciples by Jesus. Those familiar and holy words are comforting and may spark your inspiration to say more.

The need for prayer runs deeply within us.

Prayer reflects purity, pain, process and possibilities.

–from the United Methodist Hymnal

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