Prayer is like sport – it is more talked about than done! The problem is like any conversation in a relationship, it requirements commitment. After all, if we want to keep a friendship going we need to give time and effort to make that phone call, meet up or send a text. And so it is with prayer, for then you are talking directly with Jesus.
Of course, there are plenty of people bursting to tell you what to say. That’s great for them but is it right for you? The answer is – you will most easily pray about those things that are important to yourself, your circle and the world you inhabit. Trying to pray for things that don’t inspire you or people who don’t touch your heart needs hard work and best left until the Spirit urges.
Similarly, if you regret saying or doing something – admit it. But there will be occasions, when before you get there, you feel God saying ‘OK – let’s move on’. So too when we have a beef, be open with God and he will open your heart to a greater truth.For praying is never a one way channel instead it’s like using ‘walkie talkies’ – we need to transmit and then listen. Finally, forget the ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ vocabulary. Jesus when he walked the earth spoke the Palestinian language of Aramaic and possibly some Greek and has no attachment to 17th Century English. I am sure he is quite happy conversing in whatever tongue you speak. He can also deal with you giving him just your emotions and even your tiredness. Remember, he has been there and done it himself.
Yet no matter how disciplined we are in our prayer intentions, there will be periods when we feel dry, empty or we have nothing much to say. Here a few aids come into their own.
Take for example, other believers prayers. The Psalms in themselves often speak when we feel unable to do so. I particularly get much from the work of modern prayer authors such as Frank Adams
In fact a whole-day set of prayers are available from a number of Christian traditions. Examples are:
- Universalis is the daily prayer book of the Roman Catholic Church (Daily Office)
- Daily Prayer is a set of prayers from the Church of England (Anglican) and is available in various styles of English (
- Northumbrian Prayers – This is my particular favourite as it is offers prayers with a Celtic flavour
Finally, if you commute for any distance and want to use the time spiritually, the superb audio meditative prayers from ‘Pray As You Go’ are great of finding inner peace in that world of constant motion.
Wherever you are then, getting in touch is a possibility even a necessity. Since God in Jesus Christ is waiting and listening for you to call in – to call home.