Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I love how things change...

Looking back over my life, I find it amazing how my understanding about and sometimes even my beliefs themselves change. I don't know how else to put this other than to explain one of these specifically:

Prayer. Prayer is something that can mean very different things to different people: who you are praying to, how you are praying, with whom you are praying. For me, prayer has been something that I have really grown and changed in my understanding throughout my life.

At a child, prayer was something we did in church, at meal time, and at bedtime. I knew who I was praying to, God and Jesus, but outside of that I did not know much else.

As my faith grew, so did my understanding of prayer. I started to see how even the Trinity worked within prayer. As a teen, I figured out that through the help of the Holy Spirit, we pray to the Father in the name of Jesus. This helped me start to understand about it being so much more than a help and thank you list.

I came to a funny place in my first year in college where I was struggling with if prayer was even needed. I mean I knew and believed in God, and he knew my thoughts before I asked, and I knew I was truly forgiven. So why pray, why not just live it out? For a while, I actually stopped praying, with words at least. After a while, I really felt God speaking to me about this. He was sharing that by the simple act of praying, you are acknowledging that I am God! Once this was stated, I started to pray again.

One struggle I have always had is the corporate prayer. It always seems like a contest with words, how long you can pray, and how you can make you voice sounds different and all of that stuff. Within struggling with this, I actually learned more about personal prayer, which is where I am today. Prayer is not a list, it is needed, and most of all it is about a relationship. Prayer should be like sitting down to coffee with a great wise friend or mentor. You want to do it, you want to listen to what they have to share, and you want to ask questions and share your life.

Prayer is a conversation that we get to have with the one and only powerful, deep, loving God. I know that I need to sit down with Him more…do you?