What does prayer mean to you? Do you repeat the same words and sentences each time you pray, or do you let the words come from deep within your heart each time you prayer, so that you speak to God about the things only you and Him know about?
“Prayer, for the most part, is our urgent speaking to God. We have a lot on our minds. We have a lot in our hearts. We have many needs and wants and wishes. My prayers are sometimes filled almost completely with a laundry list of requests. In such urgent need there is a temptation not to listen before and during and after our spoken prayers. Too seldom do we prepare to pray, too seldom do we quietly reflect after our prayers. These are the times for reverent meditation…to allow our minds and our hearts to communicate clearly…”
Jeffery R. Holland
Prayer is about more than words, it’s about our deepest feelings and emotions, our cares and concerns, our loves and our hates, and the things we’re grateful for and the things we wish for for our friends and our world, and the things we hope for our own future and those we love. Prayer is about all these feelings and thoughts but more than that it’s the basis of our relationship with God.
“When we pray, God hears more than we say, answers more than we ask, gives more than we imagine – in His own time and in His own way.”
Prayer is also not just about our words, as it’s should also be about listening to God. Just as it’s difficult to hear what someone is saying when multiple people talk at the same time, so we must be quiet in God’s presence so we can truly hear what he is wanting to say to us. Being silent in God’s presence should be just as much a part of our prayer time, as actually talking to God.
Matthew 6:6 (The Message)
Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.