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"Is there a right or a wrong way to Pray?"

 Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"Do not be anxious about anything...but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God... And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus..."

Have you ever thought....Is it best to pray standing up...sitting down...kneeling...or bowing down? Should our hands be open, closed, or lifted up to God? Do our eyes need to be closed when we pray? Should we pray in the morning when we get up or at night before we go to bed? Are there certain words we need to say in our prayers? How do we begin our prayers? What is the proper way to close a prayer...What is the proper way to pray? Do any of the above things even matter???

This is something that I have been pondering on for a while...many of us (myself included) feel almost uncomfortable praying out loud due to the fact that we are scared we are going to sound silly or incompetent..that we might freeze up..not say the right words...pray in a different way than someone else thinks we instead we politely decline..and let the person next to us say the prayer out loud..Why do we do this??  The closest the Bible comes to giving a “pattern” for prayer is the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13..Now understand that the Lord’s Prayer is not a prayer we are supposed to memorize and recite to God... It is simply a example of the things that should go into a in God,...requests..confession..and submission...We are to pray for the things that the Lord’s Prayer talks about, using our own words and “customizing” it...

I am not judging anyone here..and I am not saying it is wrong..and I know that everyone has their own way of doing or saying things..but this is a place that I can state my opinion so..sometimes as I sit and listen to random people pray..I often wonder if all the big words and fancy way of saying things are more for show than actual heartfelt prayers...It just seems to thought out to me...When I pray..normally in the morning on the way to work or at night while I am laying in bed...there is no "Dear God"..or "Heavenly Father I come to you in prayer"...there is simply..."Hey's me..." Sometimes I even have to catch myself from saying "How are you?" I talk to him like I am talking to my best friend...After all, he is my best friend...there are no fancy "pattern" per say...I pour my heart out to him..everything I am thinking..everything I am feeling...Everything that I have layed on my heart for that day...I ask for him to wrap his arms around the ones that have special needs..even though I don't know what they are..he does...I thank him for the opportunity to wake up and enjoy another see my child and hug him..I thank him for his unending love..thank him for my family and friends...thank him for this life he has provided...

Just the other day, Khristian and I were praying in the car...and I asked him if he wanted to say the prayer...with a smile he said "Yes, mam" as I drove in the front and listened to my 9 year old son pray in the backseat..I couldnt help but to smile at his innocence...he prayed for his pawpaw...he prayed for me and his daddy..for his friends...he prayed for the rain to stay away so he could swim (Bless his heart..he doesnt know we are in a drought)...and he ended by saying.."God Bless everybody...Amen.." I remember thinking that's how prayer should be...straight from the heart..Khristian then took me by surprise and asked if that sounded ok...I told him of course it did...that when he prayed to God he could say anything that was on his heart...anything that he wanted to talk to God about..and there was no right or wrong way...

I can't help but to think of the verse in Matthew that says:

"And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven..."

To be perfectly honest, I don't think there is a "wrong" way to pray...or even a "proper" way to pray...Praying  is expressing our hearts to God... Sitting, standing, or kneeling; hands open or closed; eyes opened or closed; in a church, at home, or outside; in the morning or at night...these are all just side issues... God’s desire is for prayer to be a real and personal connection between Himself and us...

So maybe next time I am at church and I am asked to pray out loud...You might just hear me say..."Hey God..It's me..."


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