Day 8 of Prayer
I remember the awkward feeling the first time I was asked to pray aloud in a group setting. I have given many presentations to groups larger than 200, but I was comfortable with the subject matter. I certainly was not comfortable with praying aloud in a small group setting. My palms began to sweat. I felt like my mouth was full of cotton. I was embarrassed, because my prayer was fragmented and rambling. I thought what would God think of my prayer?
I learned a valuable lesson that day. Pray from your heart, not from your brain. God does not care how well your words flow when you pray aloud or pray silently. He cares what is in your heart.
Jesus speaks about praying in the following from the Book of Matthew;
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:5-8)
I have found it is best, for me, to find a quiet place to pray where I am not distracted. I know this is not always possible. My prayers consist of a private conversation with Him. I do not worry if I stumble over a word or pause for a long time. He knows me and knows my heart. That is what is important.
Many of us pray only during difficult times. For example, loss of a loved one, financial issues, marital problems, challenges at school, etc. Praying to God for guidance during times of trouble can be very comforting. Additionally, we should pray to Him and give thanks and praise for events in our lives and for His unconditional love for us.
I remember a time when I prayed to God to spare my life and guide me to safety during a very difficult situation. I also remember “making a deal” or negotiating with Him if he answered this prayer. I often reflect back on this prayer and realize how selfish I must have sounded. Furthermore, He knew I wouldn’t uphold my end of the bargain anyway. Today I envision God shaking His head and smiling as I prayed. God doesn’t negotiate.
In summary, pray from your heart. If you feel alone in your darkest moments, you are not alone. He is always with you. He loves you unconditionally!
Written by Ron Borgschulte