Thursday, November 5, 2009

How to Pray

This has been on my mind for weeks. Since all of this happened with Evie, I have been searching for answers about prayer.

How should I pray? Should I be praying for acceptance and guidance, regardless of the situation? Should I be praying constantly for healing? Should I be praying for discernment?  All of the above?

I started asking God for guidance in my prayer life, and He has shown me so much.

The first verse that came to me is:

Romans 8:26-27: 
26In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 

I don’t have to worry so much about saying the “right” words. The Holy Spirit intercedes if we don’t have the exact words. God already knows the desires of our hearts.

Next, He has drawn me to the Garden of Gethsemene, where Jesus prays the night before his cruxifiction.

36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, "Sit here while I go over there and pray."  37And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. 38Then He said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me." 39And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will." Matthew 26:36-40 (NASB)

Jesus was distressed and He asked His Father to change his circumstances, but then He said, not as I will, but as You will. Jesus never gave up trusting the will of His Father. It is important not to become arrogant in prayer, believing we know better than God. His will is perfect.

Third, I have focused on praying for others. When I stop looking at myself and my problems, it is easy to see a bigger picture, and to realize everyone is going through or has went through a difficult situation. In all my worrying and wondering about what is going to happen and what I should be doing, I have forgotten that it is not all about me! Life does not revolve around me and my circumstances. God is so much bigger than that. His plan is so much more than I can comprehend.

Lastly and most importantly, I have learned to just stop and listen; to spend time with God without requests or expectation.

Thanking Him for His love and forgiveness.

“In reality, there is only one true prayer, only one substantial prayer: Christ Himself. There is only one voice that rises above the face of the earth: the voice of Christ. Perfect prayer does not consist of many words, but in the fervor of the desire which raises the heart to Jesus.
Mother Teresa: No Greater Love