Prayer is a very important part of spiritual growth. Why is this subforum, all on prayer, dead? What could that say about us, our prayer lives, our Spirits?
Here is a piece on prayer that I wrote for Furs For Christ:
As a Christian, I've prayed for years. And over the years, I've begun to realise certain things.
And from others, I've learned even more.
I was shocked when I had been in Sunday School one day and the pastor asked, "Do you all pray at least once a week?" to which the answer, for many, was "No." I pray every morning and night my "proper prayer" as well as many throughout the day.
But later I began to think back to what I had learned in my life. What is a "proper" way to pray?
Do we have to have "standard" prayers that are the same every time we pray, or go through a cycle?
No, for that lets the Spirit die. The Spirit dies because it falls into a cycle or falls into just a repetition. The Spirit will perish because there is no aliveness in the prayer. The meaningfulness is lost. It becomes nothing but words that we don't even have to think about.
Do we have to pray in a specific way?
No, for the intent and intensity of the prayer is what counts. It does not matter if we're on our hands and knees, facing a Cross or another man-made symbol relating to God. It does not matter if you clasp your hands or put them together. Your eyes do not have to be closed, nor do you have to say it aloud or in silence. You do not have to do it in a dark place, under a shroud, or even in private-- those are preferences, or things taught to us.
Do we have to pray regularly, often?
I'd say "yes." Why? Well, prayer is a form of worship. For me, prayer gives me rest that sleep never does. Prayer for other people revitalizes them, gives them energy or life or happiness. Praying regularly keeps your Spiritual flame burning. If the flame goes out, Jesus will spit you out. Most Christians are "luke-warm." Jesus loves us all, understands the cold, and admires the hot-- but what of us who have a decaying Spiritual life? He will spit us out. I'm in danger of that regularly.
Not only does prayer keep you connected to God, but it is a way to tell God your fears, your desires. Any relationship you get into needs you to talk to your partner-- if we are the bride of Christ, how can we expect a fulfilling, successful life with Him if we never speak to Him? Or if we rarely speak to Him? Why should He speak to us if we don't speak to Him?
Does the amount of time we devote to praying really matter?
My belief is that it is your intensity, your willingness, your intent and meaningfulness that matter. The most Spiritually alive people I know pray for, in some cases, hours every day. In my hay-day of a Spiritual fire, before I began to slip away yet again, I'd give an hour on my knees to God every day-- one half in the morning, one half in the night, and much "non-proper" prayer through the day. Even now do I not give as much as I feel called to give, but in our modern culture we think we have better things to do-- but what is better than to invest ourselves in the One who has fully invested Himself in us?
And so, what do I say about praying?
I say just let it all flood out-- this is God you're speaking to! And what is God? God is our father, our friend. He wants you to talk to Him. So speak-- speak whatever you want, whenever you want, but do it regularly to keep yourself close. He loves you! He'll gladly listen, regardless of how petty you think an issue or thought or feeling is-- if it is on your mind or heart or soul, it is important.
So talk to Him. Ask Him. Praise Him-- oh, please praise Him. If you're reading this, praise Him. If you're happy, praise Him. If you hurt, praise Him. Whatever goes right or wrong, praise Him-- it's all an investment in you, one He wishes to see thrive because of what He promises you in Jeremiah 29:11: The hope, prosperity, future!
Pray-- pray regularly. Pray with intensity-- a passion full of love, full of emotion, full of life. Do not let your Spirit wither and die, for it will without something to keep it active. Your Spiritual life, like all life, must grow and develop-- and prayer will see that happen if you hold onto Him and pour it all out. And oh how God will smile. His heart beats for you. He just wants to be with you, so pray however you feel you must-- just don't let it become a "standard" prayer you can recite easily. All good things thrive with work.
Now go and pray that your Spirit may thrive and not just survive; for without a good health, when the tests of fire come, will it survive?
Edited by Spirit Bear, 02 December 2015 - 05:30 PM.