Prayer is about communication between God and us. Why should we want to do this? Simply because living in harmony with God’s will creates a community in which all people have the best opportunity to fulfil their potential for life.
God desires and initiates a loving relationship with each of us. But we are free to respond positively to that invitation or to ignore or even reject it. Prayer can be described as looking and finding God in all things, recognising God’s presence in each one of us, throughout our lives, and in the whole of creation.
However, it is a common human experience to find praying difficult. Even when we believe in God, we can ‘say our prayers’, especially those we read or recite by heart, without being truly present to God. In essence, prayer is the practice of being in the presence of God.
Just as human relationships need to be nurtured, so we need to give time, space and loving attention in order that our relationship with God can develop and flourish. Most of us find praying difficult at some point or another; we are unsure whether or not we are doing it ‘properly.’ There are countless different ways of praying and what’s important is to pray as we can, not as we can’t.
Some encouraging suggestions:-
- We can pray any time day or night, and not just on Sundays.
- We can pray anywhere, walking, waiting for a bus, doing household chores, and not just in church.
- God cares about our whole beings – mind, body, spirit and emotions – all of our thoughts and concerns can be shared with God
- Prayer is not limited by us talking to God – if we cultivate the practice of listening to God, our relationship with God will really grow.
While most of us pray with words, aloud or silently, heard, read, from memory or sung, there are numerous other ways of being in relationship with God e.g.
- In silence and stillness
- Listening to or making music, or other creative activities
- By appreciating the wonder and beauty of nature and all God’s creation
- Being aware of our own bodies and the miracle of how we are made
- Through acts of loving kindness both given and received
- By valuing not only those we love but also those whom we find difficult
Prayer involves our whole beings –mind, body, spirit and emotions.