Synchroblog – How Do You Pray?

27 Aug

God, Prayer and Me

This prayer synchroblog came about through a conversation Erin, Cindy and I had following a post I did last week called Emerging Prayer. In that post I wrote about how I see prayer as my “chat” with God which I do where and whenever, and I also shared about how I had recently started to do some art meditation work which equated to prayer. Today I want to share some more of my thoughts and experiences. Erin, Cindy and I are really looking forward to reading what others share today.

I tried writing this a little while ago, and found myself stumped for words, as I know that my prayer life is not what others would call prayer. You see I follow no formula, no set routine. I don’t have the daily quiet time which I have been taught about time and time again in church. Then I read Julie’s post and felt free to be me, as, like I think we’ll read a lot of today, there are many of us who have been wandering in the same direction.

I talk with God a lot, maybe my biggest down fall is that I do not always listen to what he has to say to me. When I read the news, have a phone conversation, read an email etc I am praying silently in my head. With me prayer and praise go hand in hand. My prayers tend to be more of a cry out – “Be in that situation God” “Help them” “Why is the world in this state?” I guess praise is what I would call my prayers of thanks. I will praise God when I see the wonders of creation. I will praise him when I hear a friend has given birth. I will sing songs to God whilst I’m cleaning the house – these songs are my prayer. They are both secular and Chrisitan. The truth be known I get a lot out of bands such as U2. You see, I want to see the world changed. I want to see justice and peace. I want to see God working more and more in my life. I want to see God transforming the community around me. I guess in some ways my life is a prayer.

I like the fact that there is no agenda with God and I. I love it when he just shows up, makes his presence known to me. I like watching a candle burn down whilst thinking. I like listening to instrumental CD’s. I will sit or lay down, and just listen. I try hard to focus on God. Sometimes I get no where, my thoughts start to wander and I’ve given up before I’ve begun. Other times I can really sense God. I can feel him. The air smells sweet and I want to stay there forever, just listening, feeling. Sometimes I think God speaks to me, other times he doesn’t, but I know he is there. Those are the best moments. The moments no one can take away from you.

I don’t always have the words when I pray. I always tell God how it is, I don’t mince my words and I’ve let go of the Christianise. Sometimes though, I just sigh, groan or wail. I simply don’t know what to say or how to say it, sometimes I don’t have the energy to begin to try. Romans 8:26 says “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” Even though I’m not saying anything, he is listening, he knows, he’s there.

Prayer for me isn’t about how good I am at getting up early, reading some scripture and praying. I don’t do devotions. I am no good at them. I’ve failed before I’ve begun. Prayer is one of my expressions to God, it is key to how I connect with him. It is personal and intimate and more importantly it can never be wrong. No one, apart from God, can ever tell me that I am not praying properly. I think it is something unique to each individual, although there will be many similarities with others. Others may judged how I pray but at the end of the day it’s all about the heart, and God knows that in my heart I want to be with him, I want to follow him, and that’s good enough for me. I don’t have to meet any human mark or standard. I want to finish with Jesus’ response to how we should pray.

The Message 6:7-13
“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best— as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.

This is my prayer today.

Those participating in the synchroblog today are:
Cindy Bryan Teach Me to Pray…Again?
Lyn Hallewell God, Prayer and Me
Erin Word Prayer=Sex with God
Rick Meigs Prayer Helps that Get Me Deeper
Alan Knox Pray without Ceasing
Julie Clawson Prayer Synchroblog
Heather Synchroblog Prayer
Alex (Heather’s Husband) Prayer Synchroblog II
Lydia How Do You Pray
Che Vachon My Thoughts…
Paul Mayers Praying and Learning to Pray Again
Sonja Andrews The Appearance of Holiness
Jon Peres How Do I Pray?
Paul Walker One Congregation Experiments with Emerging Prayer
Susan Barnes Synchroblog: How Do You Pray?
Brother Maynard Fear Not the Silence
Nate Peres How Do I Pray?
Barry Taylor Synchroblog:How Do You Pray?
Emerging Grace Clearance Sale on Intercession Books
Jim Lehmer Synchroblog – How Do You Pray?
Lew A How Do You Pray? – Synchroblog
Jon Hallewell When I’m Spoken To
Deb Prayer Synchroblog
Barb Prayer without Throwing Things
Patti Blount How Do I Pray
Doug Jones How I Pray
Glenn Hagar Prayer Phases
Pam Hogeweide The Art of Blue Tape Spirituality
Mary How Do I Pray?
Rhonda Mitchell Prayer SynchroBlog
John Smulo Praying Naturally
Rachel Warwick How Do You Pray?
Barbara Legere How to Not Pray
Jonathan Brink Posture – Sitting With My Daddy
Andy How Do I Pray
Cynthia Clack How Do I Pray
Makeesha Fisher The Mystery of Prayer
Joy Prayer 
Robby Mac
Synchro-Prayer
Larry
Prayer Is Weird
Rick Stilwell Push

Thank you to everyone who has taken part today. We are truly amazed by the response. There are some excellent posts out there, be sure to check them all out.

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29 Responses to “Synchroblog – How Do You Pray?”

  1. cindy August 27, 2007 at 11:40 #

    Lyn- what a wonderful description of prayer. i love the quote from the message, too.

    “at the end of the day it’s all about the heart, and God knows that in my heart I want to be with him, I want to follow him, and that’s good enough for me.”

    that is truly what it’s all about. Good words.

  2. Deb August 27, 2007 at 11:54 #

    Hi
    My first synchroblog is here!
    🙂
    deb

  3. Erin August 27, 2007 at 14:43 #

    So much of what you said is true of me. It took me so long to get beyond feeling badly about myself for not having “quiet time” or devotions or those other things we are supposed to do. It just doesn’t work for me. Instead I find myself praying all the time, like background music in my head and heart.

    I really liked this “It is personal and intimate and more importantly it can never be wrong. No one, apart from God, can ever tell me that I am not praying properly. I think it is something unique to each individual, although there will be many similarities with others.”

    That’s what I think, too.

  4. Alan Knox August 27, 2007 at 15:57 #

    Lyn,

    “I talk with God a lot, maybe my biggest down fall is that I do not always listen to what he has to say to me.” Right! That’s it! It doesn’t matter how we talk, if we don’t listen.

    -Alan

  5. lynhallewell August 27, 2007 at 19:40 #

    Thanks Cindy

  6. lynhallewell August 27, 2007 at 19:43 #

    Thanks Erin. I dislike the way people make others feel like they are not praying properly. The sad thing is that I don’t even think they realize that they are hurting people when they are so forceful with “their way”.

  7. lynhallewell August 27, 2007 at 19:45 #

    Very true. I like what Brother Maynard wrote God hears us waiting.

  8. Makeesha August 27, 2007 at 21:05 #

    mine’s coming 🙂

  9. Paul Walker August 27, 2007 at 21:39 #

    Very honest thoughts. Thank you

  10. lynhallewell August 27, 2007 at 22:10 #

    Excellent!

  11. glenn August 28, 2007 at 04:50 #

    Lyn, Thanks for inviting me in on this. I think that you words and those of others will bring a great deal of freedom and refreshment in our relationship with Father.

  12. Mary August 28, 2007 at 06:18 #

    I really enjoyed your descriptions of how you pray. It helps to know that I’m not the only one who doesn’t do devotions, too.

  13. lynhallewell August 28, 2007 at 09:07 #

    Definitely Glenn, and we have noticed a real pattern flowing through many of the posts. God is definitely moving people. We’ll write a summary by the end of the week.

  14. lynhallewell August 28, 2007 at 09:08 #

    I think there are many of us out there Mary! Thank you.

  15. Cynthia August 28, 2007 at 11:17 #

    Lyn,
    Sounds like we are conversing with the Father in much the same way. In fact, I have Praying in Color. It is just one of the many ways. I too am no good at “devotions” … where is that in Scripture? But living in the moment with Father … yeah, I can groove on that!

  16. lynhallewell August 28, 2007 at 12:16 #

    I just figure that it what is supposed to be. He is with us all the time, as we are with him. I want to be me with him, not some formula.

  17. Rhonda August 28, 2007 at 14:07 #

    Great post!
    I am also in the same boat as you.
    My praying is so similar to yours…
    Thanks for the clarity,
    and thanks for including me.

    What an excellent way to link us all together.

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