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Prayer is an Action Word

Posted by Lisa on October 4, 2011

prayer Noun/pre(?)r/

1. A solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.

According to http://carm.org/christianity/prayer-ministry/what-prayer, Prayer is the practice of the presence of God.  It is the place where pride is abandoned, hope is lifted, and supplication is made.  Prayer is the place of admitting our need, of adopting humility, and claiming dependence upon God.  Prayer is the exercise of faith and hope.  Prayer is the privilege of touching the heart of the Father through the Son of God, Jesus our Lord.

Today as I’ve been working through a struggle in my life, I found myself turning to prayer but discovering that I didn’t know how to pray according to who I am today.
Read on...

 

 

As a child, I was raised to believe that prayer was only in begging for forgiveness from a God who didn’t love me and wanted me to fail.  I was taught to pray for specific outcomes (specifically entrance into heaven).  I was controlled as a child and I don’t believe in controlling anyone or a situation while knowing I have the right to stand up for my boundaries and to be respected.  As an adult, I have power to speak and take more action than I had as a child.  As an adult, I am free to follow my heart.  I believe that God wants me to stand up for my boundaries and for me to be respected.  I believe that God is all-loving (which is a concept that may be impossible to fully understand as a human).

I’ve discovered for myself today that prayer may be pretty complex.  It seems to not be cut-and-dry for me but, rather, has many options.  For example, prayer sometimes seems to be the only action that needs to be taken in a situation.  Sometimes there’s a decision to be made so prayer would be seeking guidance for what’s best for us in this situation and then making the best choice that we can.  

I’m a thinker who loves to grow and expand - that’s a natural part of who I am.  As you will see below, I love to ask questions!!.

God knows my heart.  So, is it necessary to have a conversation with him? If prayer is like talking to a best friend, then I would think it necessary to have a conversation.  I would think it must be a two-way street.  Should we sometimes listen to his burdens? In a conversation with a best friend, I would say how I’m feeling and be nurtured and cared for.  I would express myself and my hopes while then being quiet to listen to the guidance and take in the love.  Is there more to it than that? Well, sometimes our best friends offer some wise advice.  Is our intuition God’s wise advice?

If there is free will and we cannot control someone else or any situation, how do we pray?

Is it enough to allow our heart to speak for us without any words or do we need to have a set prayer in order for there to be an outcome? Can an outcome be changed or is there only one outcome possible? Is an outcome sometimes merely seeing from a different perspective? Can an outcome be changed by listening to our inner guidance and making more aware choices? Can an outcome be changed by waiting or by asking more questions - getting more information?

Do we have more options when we broaden our conversation with God?

Is it appropriate to pray for someone when they haven’t asked for it? Is it appropriate to ask for a specific outcome for someone if they haven’t asked us to?

Are there different types of prayers for different types of situations? I'm thinking there must be.

If prayer is a request for help and a thank you, are we praying every time we talk to a friend?

If we don’t want to control or be controlled, what do we ask for? Is it enough to ask for a peaceful resolution and then be open to however that comes to us? Do we have to define what peace looks like to us? 

If God wants me to stand up for my boundaries and wants me to be respected, does that mean that he wants me to tell him what my boundaries are? Should I have boundaries with God? Does respect mean that he will only listen, help or answer when I give him permission? Is it my responsibility to ask for help (even when I don’t know what I want or need)?

Are our prayers always answered? I believe so.  Sometimes it may take a long time to see how.  I didn’t think God answered my prayers growing up because my parents never solved their problems and no one ever came in to save me.  I wonder now how many people were praying for me and how many unseen protectors were coming in to help me.  I’m changing my view of prayer.

I’ve come to believe that prayer is a bridge between hearts.  Sometimes spoken.  Sometimes silent.  Sometimes with specific requests.  Always being open.

 

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