PATHS TO PRAYER (1)
Date: 2/11/2010 06:33 - Subscribe
There are many ways to pray -
many paths of communication that
can lead you closer to God.
Here are some different paths you
can take to prayer:
When you feel pain or doubt so deeply
that you can't express verbally, you can
simply groan in your spirit and God will hear.
The Holy Spirit within you will intercede to
God the Father for you to express what
you can't put into words. Guttural groaning
will open your heart to God's comfort,
hope, and compassion.
"Skin, trees, blood, bread, and wine":
When you pray using your physical senses
(such as seeing, hearing, smelling, touching,
or tasting), you can deepen your connection
to God. Start by celebrating Communion for
a powerful encounter with God. Then try other
sacramental approaches to prayer, like praying
with other people whose faces you can see,
touching someone you're praying for, praying
outside in nature, moving your body when you
pray (kneeling, raising your hands, dancing, walking,
making the sign of the cross, or anything else
God may lead you to do).
"Desperation": When you cry out to God
from the depths of your helplessness, God
hears you. Don't let either pride or insecurity
keep you from praying when you feel desperate.
Remember that Jesus has given you the freedom
and confidence you need to turn to God in the midst
of desperate situations. Open yourself up fully to
receive His help. Expect God to reach out to you.
Let the desperation you experience motivate you to
pursue God more and develop deeper compassion
for other people in need.
"Mystery": When your prayers go unanswered
and you don't know why, don't hesitate to ask God
questions and express your agony to Him. Choose
to trust God's promise that He will do what's best
when you pray. Realize that He may be using
unanswered prayers to change you for the better
as you go through difficult circumstances.
Understand that sometimes God will choose to
give you something more valuable than answers to
your prayers: Himself. Get to know the Giver rather
than just the gifts. Make your ultimate goal in prayer
to spend time with God instead of trying to get
something from Him. Ask God to help you surrender
your will to His will and trust that He will work out every
situation according to what's best when you invite Him
to do so.
Adapted from The Folly of Prayer: Practicing the
Presence and Absence of God, copyright 2009 by
Matt Woodley. Published by IVP Books, a division
of InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Ill.,
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