Prayer is both harder and easier than many of us would like to admit. You need not have a Master's degree. It's accessible any time of the day. You don't need to be good looking or have an award-winning IQ.
It's easy and yet many don't take the time to do it.
First, we should ask ourselves, "what is prayer and what is the point of it"? As a Christian, I've been taught that prayer is a conversation with God. It's an opportunity to thank God and ask for help. After all, life can be tough and we don't have all of the answers.
As Meister Eckart famously said “If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” This is good news. Prayer can make us more grateful as we realize that we are not the center of the universe.
Still, this takes some practice. For me, this is often
a) a morning routine and
b) a during-the-day process.
To quote Eckart one more time, “Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” I like to read a short passage of the Bible and also do some journaling. One is input and the other is output. Finally, it's important to sit and just listen. In a world of noise, God often whispers in the midst of quiet. We need that quiet. Terry Hershey calls it "sanctuary", a safe place to withdraw to that makes it easier to just "be" with God.
I recently hosted our summer off-site meeting and invited a friend who is, in my book, an expert in prayer. She taught us the following 5 step process to beginning anew each morning:
- G gratitude: thank God for even the smallest things of your day.
- R request for light: what don't you understand? What's eating at you?
- A accountability: talk with God about those that rely on your gifts and talent.
- C contrition: what imperfections and sins do you need to talk with God about?
- E energetic response: what situation today do you want God to especially bless?
Why not try this simple approach to prayer today?