Prayer has always been somewhat of a mystery to the human race. How should you pray? Should it be long, or short, a recitation, or impromptu, a ritual done every night and before each meal, or done five times a day, facing a certain direction…or something else entirely? Honestly, the way I view prayer now is pretty much the only way I have ever viewed it, starting when I was a young child. Talking to God. Like He is right there next to you. As if you were talking to your Best Friend, your Loving Father, your Most Trusted Confidant. Why do other people seem to have such a tough time with it? Well, as I grew up, and grew apart from God along the way, I think I see why people try and make it so complicated. Because they think there are “formulas” and “rituals” that if they perform them the right way, will bring them close to God, or into His favor. But I don’t see it that way. Jesus said that we must be like little children and when we pray we should do so in our rooms, with the door closed. Not standing on a street corner shouting for all the world to see. By this, I think he meant we should talk to him the way that I did as a child. In my bedroom, at night, while I was waiting to fall asleep. I talked out loud to Him. Oftentimes for hours. And it is where I learned a lot about God. Just by talking to Him, and listening to the things He would tell me, deep in my spirit, I would hear His still, small voice inside me. Even now, I find myself doing so, but many times I converse with him in my head, and not aloud. Alone in my room at night, I still do talk to Him, now not as often as I used to, but I find this way of praying a comfort to me. And a way for me to get closer to my Heavenly Father.
Tonight as I was washing dishes, I thought about a text that my brother had sent me and how a conversation we have been having off and on for days keeps bothering me. I was thinking, how could I reply to him to convince him that my point of view is the right one? LOL I believe that I heard God laugh out loud at me. He told me why don’t you run that text by me before you send it? And that’s when I had this magnificent thought. Maybe if I brought my troubles to God in prayer first before reacting out of hurt or anger, I would greatly reduce the stress in my life brought about by other’s conversations with me. They might be insensitive, wrong, mean-spirited, hard-hearted, selfish, or just plain misunderstood (as text messages often are) but if I bring God my wounded heart first and present to Him my hurt and anger, maybe He could transform it before I reply in my flesh and desire to “get back” at them with a witty, sarcastic, evil response. If we would pause before we respond – as was needed back in the days before instant communication (like our texting, emailing, instant messaging days of today)- if we would pause and bring our hearts to God and ask Him what He would have us say in return, I think a lot of our problems with communication would be solved. Why I never thought of this before, I do not know. It seems pretty simple to me. Pause, and pray, before you react in anger and hurt. “A soft answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1 The Bible literally holds all the answers to our problems. Even now, thousands of years after it was first written. God never changes. Apparently, we don’t either. But that’s a topic for another day, and another blog post. 😉