I am so excited to share today’s blog post with you. My dear friend, Kelli Moore, of All Your Heart ministries is sharing her experience with prayer. I can tell you that her prayers get answers. She once was praying that Sarabeth would take a nap so that I could get a bit of a break. That very next day, Sarabeth took more naps than she ever had before. It was an absolute blessing to me. So, I know that when Kelli speaks of her experiences with prayer, know that she speaks from the heart and her words are true.
Praying. Prayer. Prayer life. These words hold great meaning for some, great mystery for others. What does it mean? Is there a formula that works? Is there a checklist I can follow? Are there words I have to use? When do pray? Why do I pray?
I have asked all these questions and many more. As a child, I thought only preachers prayed. They knew all the pretty words to say and when to say them. I didn’t have a clue where to even begin. As my relationship with Jesus grew, I began to crave more communication with Him. Mostly because I needed His help with all the trouble I got myself into. The more I went to Him with my list of problems to fix, the more I began to wonder if that was all there was to praying. I read so many books, I memorized the Lord’s Prayer, I wrote down all the acronyms down and followed them, step by step.
Still, I wanted more. I needed more. So, I told Him. “Father, this doesn’t feel right. I’m pretty sure there is something off with this deal. What can I do to feel more connected to You?” It didn’t happen overnight. Truly, it didn’t even happen quickly. We just started to talk. I would come to Him whenever I had a quiet moment and tell Him that I wanted to feel something when I prayed. I would tell Him that I didn’t feel comfortable with this whole prayer thing. I asked all kinds of questions. “If You are sovereign, why should I pray? If You already know everything I think and feel, why do I need to tell You? If You already have a plan, why do I need to ask You about it? What difference do my prayers make?”
He has answered those questions with gentle whispers about how He longs for my company and my companionship. He has yelled at me, (He has to do this with me sometimes. I can be slightly hard-headed) “because I said so and I know what I’m doing!” He has allowed me to wrestle with Him and the answers until we have come to an understanding. The understanding is, I don’t understand it all and I don’t have too.
I understand enough to know that I am at peace when I pray, that I feel His presence when I pray, and all the things come together better when I pray.
What this tells me is that prayer is not for God, but for me. Just like the Sabbath was designed to ensure I get rest, prayer was designed to ensure that I spend quality time with my Father.
That quality time leaves me feeling loved, valued, and connected. I feel stronger and more secure.
Sometimes, the prayers are short and to the point. Sometimes they are long and wordy. Sometimes they are raw, and hard, and ugly. No matter my need, He meets me there and He listens. No matter my attitude or my words, He hears me. Knowing this truth, I am drawn towards prayer because it changes me, comforts me, and empowers me.
Somehow, in the midst of all prayer does for me, it also opens the door for God to bless us, support us, encourage us. It as if He is a parent just waiting to be asked so He can give. We just have to open the door.
The question is now, how do we pray? What do we say? How do we get better? The answer is simple, pray. Talk to Him. Tell Him what you want Him to know, what you need Him to do, how much you love Him. Talk to Him like you would talk to a wise friend. He will reveal to you how and when to pray. There is no secret formula. There is the Holy Spirit inside you, translating to and from God. He tells us that if we ask for wisdom, and believe that He will give it, it will be done.
Like everything else, there will be seasons. Times when you have more time than others, more motivation, more words. Conversely, there will be times when the words are few, time is non-existent, and the motivation is going to survival mode. Keep praying. Keep coming before Him and asking for more. He will always answer. In fact, it is when you are having the hardest time praying that you need that time with Him the most.
Don’t give up, keep at it. Don’t compare, He only cares about your heart. Make some time each day to pray.
It will be a blessing.