Thursday, March 13, 2008

What is prayer anyway?

Was chatting with a mate last night about a funny thing that had happened yesterday.

I'd been looking through the local paper, and i thought to myself 'Gee I'd really love some extra casual work, just something working with 'at-risk' kids in the area, something that's pretty flexible, but would give me some more experience in that area' and then, bang! I turn the page and there is a position advertised that is pretty much exactly that!

Am just sending off my application now, so will see how it goes.

I made a glib little comment about how if I had prayed about it, i would be up in churh telling it as a story of an amazing thing that God had done for me. But then i started to think a little more seriously about what exactly is my theology of prayer?

Do we have to start and finish our prayers with 'Dear Lord' and 'Amen' for God to hear it?
If God is all present and all hearing, then do I actually have to articulate something as a prayer for God to hear and acknowledge it?
Is me just thinking something in a sense communication with the God that is always in and around me?
Did God know I was looking for that before I did?

I've got a few ideas to the answers of some of those questions, but they provided me with a bit of food for thought either way.

6 comments:

LovesTha said...

Maybe your cause and effect is mixed up?

Could it be that God brought that idea to your current thoughts so you would notice the advert?

Estelle b. said...

My child,

I personally think that the addition of the "rules to perfect prayer" is just a manmade, religious...thing.

It wasn't too long ago when people believed that to pray(at all), one would need to kneel, cup their hands before them and pray in a process; beginning in Dear Lord and ending in Amen.

For me, personally, I live a life of prayer... although I rarely start them with Dear Jesus and kneeling. No, instead I have endless casual conversations with the big guy, everyday, 24/7, day and night... mainly because I have so much to converse with him about. To me prayer is all about communication, I communicate with him about pretty much everything and just talking to him as I am works for me.

Some people might be against the way I do it and be like "gee you should get into your prayer life" But since when did my relationship with the big guy involve anyone but him and me...

We often stereotype prayer for a public image, adding a process and rules, certain words to be said... that's what I have a problem with. Prayer is personal, even if it's in front of a room full of people.

if that kinda makes sense?

Em said...

I rarely, if at all, start my prayers with 'Dear Jesus' or end with 'Amen' unless it's like a group prayer or something that might need a little structure.

In fact, I don't really start or stop praying, I just talk to God all the time. That isn't to say I'm the best Christian ever, oh no, I'm very muchly NOT, but God is always there and sometimes I say nothing. Sometimes I ramble on forever. Sometimes I say just one word.

The whole 'Dear Jesus' and 'Amen' thing IS a very traditional religious thing, I think, and I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it, but if Amen means 'I agree' then why bother agreeing with yourself if you're praying on your own?

Anywho, prayer is often really personal and individual, so good luck with discovering all about your own kind of prayer!

Carola... said...

I guess a public prayer could consist of such additions as "Dear Lord" and "And all the people say [Amen]", but then again, if you know people like Brian & Bobbie Houston [AOG head honcho's whom i only recently got a preview of at their Color Your World Conference in Sydney] who say - almost like punctuation - "Amen" and "In Jesus Name" all the time, then prayer for them would confuse people thinking it might've ended rather quickly!

I dont think i'm like estelle b. but i do have similar chats with His Highness. Usually I talk through my current, soon-could-be or previous actions, thoughts I have, things i'm struggling with.

Lovestha has a point though. Maybe God prompted you before you thought about it! How crazy is that. The man who created the universe and all quadrillions that are in it and beyond, still knows us by name and knows our every intricate detail and unique personality.

He is GOOD!

Digger said...

Yeah good call that one Gareth, was trying to articulate something similar myself, but never got around to writing it.

YEah totally know what you mean Esky, and I would even go further than prayer just being communication, I would prob say it is also just time spent as well-if you know what i mean.

Like, words don't even need to be used sometimes.

Which i think is kinda what u were saying Em?

Yeah the Brian and Bobbie thing is funny, they use Amen like I use 'Um'-too much! Is kinda funny to hear really, but ah well.

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