Tag Archives: pray to God

Pray to God as I Understand God?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – January 5, 2015

girl praying

Pray to God as I Understand God?

I practiced prayer today, using my trusty prayer guide. I really did. Except—I don’t feel like it. Or rather, I didn’t feel it. Not very much, anyway.

Rev. Howell had an excellent focus for his chapter today. It goes along with us, with all the shortcomings and foibles that human beings have today. As believers in God nowadays, some people have difficulty in prayer. In fact, some are so disheartened or distracted that they are ready to throw in the towel and leave the mysterious skill of praying to the professional clergy, even in emergency situations.

Howell has a wonderful help (if not an outright solution) for those having difficulties finding someplace to start. He suggests that we choose some place in our homes (or, at work, if home is MUCH too busy, and if your work will welcome pray-ers).

As I mentioned in a message on social media earlier today, each person is an individual, separate and unique. Each person has the capacity and ability to come to God, but there are a myriad of different ways to come to this Higher Power, to this God as each of us understands God.

Howell reminds his readers that prayer is like a really big AA meeting. People are introducing themselves: “My name is Elizabeth, and I am a sinner.” Or, “My name is Elizabeth, and I have this horribly dark hole in the place where my heart ought to be.” Or, “My name is Elizabeth, and I am addicted to the futility of my life.” [1]

And as I introduce myself to God (who really needs no introduction, since God knows me so much better than I know myself), there is no better place to be. In the loving presence of God, in prayer.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

[1] James C. Howell, The Beautiful Work of Learning to Pray, Abingdon Press (Nashville, TN: 2003), 26.


Waiting in silence

A few days ago, one of the passages I meditated on in prayer was the beginning of Psalm 62. I don’t always pray with a specific passage of Scripture in mind, but recently I’ve been using a method of prayer called Benedictine Rumination. (ruminating or chewing repetitively on Scripture—I’ll have to talk more about that, soon)

I was struck by the first part of the first verse of Psalm 62. “For God alone my soul waits in silence.” Wow. I’ll say it again. Wow!

Sometimes, when I encourage my mind, body and spirit to enter into prayer, I feel myself sinking into prayer. This particular prayer time was one of those times. Leaving behind the hurry, the hustle and bustle, the noise, everything distracting or worrisome. I felt a welcome from God, and the gentle silence. Open, friendly, peaceful presence.

Sadly, I was not able to stay there during the whole prayer time. However, I had experienced it for part of it. I knew it was there. I was able to tap into that warm presence, that gentle silence, for some of the time. I really needed it! I sure could use it on a regular basis, God!

I understand that silence is something that makes some people uncertain. Even anxious. Not me. (that is, usually) But I have a difficult time getting there. Your warm, gracious welcoming arms are waiting for me, I know. Thanks for being there. And thanks for being warm and welcoming, instead of cold and distant.

Let’s pray. Dear God, sometimes it’s difficult to enter into prayer, much less break into Your gentle silence. Please help me to leave worry, anxiety and hurry behind. Forgive me for focusing on sad things, angry feelings, and hurt places in my life. I know Your presence is waiting. Thanks for making Your warm, gracious silence available, any time I need it. Any time I want it. Thanks, God. Amen.