Talking naturally to God can be hard to do.
I grew up with a grandmother who prayed freely and frequently. Not that she lived with us, but I would stay with her often. I never knew if my regular visits were because my mother wanted to get rid of me for a few days, or whether she knew I would entertain her parents with my drawings and conversation. Whichever the reason, I can look back and be glad for those times.
Each evening, my grandparents would sit either side of the fireplace. Grandma on the left and Grandad on the right. I would be seated on the huge sofa opposite the fireplace. From that location I observed and listened to the regular evening event.
Grandma, carrying steaming mugs and a plate of cookies (biscuits, as they are called in England) from the kitchen, would settle in her armchair. Then she’d pick up a worn out Bible and read out loud a passage followed by the day’s entry in a devotional book. My Grandad relaxed in his chair; one leg crossed over the other. His foot swung back and forth like a metronome as he listened. Next, my grandmother would pray. She made requests for people I did not know, for missionaries in far away places I doubted I would ever visit, and for her family. Sometimes, she prayed for me. Prayer, I realized from a young age, should be part of everyday life. However, I didn’t think it was for me.
one leg crossed over the other. His foot swung back and forth like a metronome as he listened. Next, my grandmother would pray. She made requests for people I did not know, for missionaries in far away places I doubted I would ever visit, and for her family. Sometimes, she prayed for me. Prayer, I realized from a young age, should be part of everyday life. However, I didn’t think it was for me.
When my grandmother died, my mother and aunt panicked. “Who’s going to pray for us now?” they wailed. Then they realized it was their turn to be responsible. So they made a list of all family members — parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles — and passed it around. Mine sat unused for many years.
Now, however, the baton has been passed down to me and my sister.
Becoming a Giver of Prayer
I wouldn’t call myself a prayer warrior. There are women like my grandmother, my sister, and friends who I put in that category. They pray powerfully and confidently. I could listen to them all day.
But, there comes a point if you’re like me, when you need to move from being an observer and on the receiving end, to being a participant and giver of prayer.
Many reasons hold us back from practicing prayer: It’s boring. We’re too busy. We don’t know what to say. It doesn’t come naturally. We feel uncomfortable praying out loud. We get distracted.
Whatever the cause, we need to get over the hurdles and jump in.
There are just as many incentives to be better at practicing prayer: Prayer can change lives. It brings peace in turbulent circumstances. It is key in directing our destinies and our dreams. It is important in healing our relationships, both physical and spiritual.
So how do we move from taker to partaker?
I don’t want you to just read about prayer, I want you to do prayer.
There are many excellent books written on prayer. But, often I have wondered why read about prayer, when practicing and “doing” helps us become better.
The most significant class I took in seminary was on The Practice of Prayer. We did little reading compared to my other classes. We prayed, a lot. Practicing changed the way I approached prayer, and it became a pleasure instead of a pain. Persisting in my practice changed my ability to prayer. It comes more easily. Doing has given me a new perspective on God, on others, and on myself.
So, my desire is to help you in your struggle to become a better pray-er.
We are going to be doers not discussers. We are going to become women who talk naturally to God.
Are you ready to join me?
What do you struggle with in talking naturally? What stops you from becoming a better pray-er?