"It's complicated" is a popular social media relationship status. Unfortunately, but understandably, this description also applies to the prayer relationship of many, especially those new to it. The word prayer evokes different images for different people. For some of us it may conjure up an image of a pastor with an eloquent thundering voice pleading with God at the church altar, for others the image may be that of a soft spoken child kneeling beside their bed reciting "now I lay me down to sleep..."
Prayer in its most basic form, is simply conversation between a man/woman/child and God. However, many find it to be intimidating What is it about prayer that makes us feel insecure or awkward? If your prayer life is complicated, it is my prayer that this post will help to bring simplification.
Proper Posture for Prayer
Let's begin with posture. If you're worried about whether you should stand, sit, kneel, or lie on your face to pray. The answer is all of the above. There is no right position. The correct prayer posture is the one that you feel is right for you at the time. Praying in the position that is comfortable for you is important because you want to be able to focus on prayer without the distraction of discomfort from an awkward position. So sit, stand, or kneel, whatever works best for you. Generally, in corporate prayer we are asked to close our eyes in prayer; That is not a requirement for our private prayer life. However, it works for me, as it helps me to block everything out and aids in focusing my wandering mind. If you prefer to pray with your eyes open and can remain focused this way, then do so.
What and How?
"What do I say?" "How do I say it?" and "How long should I pray?" are questions that frustrate the minds of many would-be-prayers. The erroneous belief that prayer has to be formal, wordy, eloquent, and lengthy is intimidating to many. Our prayers do NOT have to be littered with the King James Version thees and thous nor do they have to sound like a formal thesis or dissertation. Matthew 6:7 (NLT) tells us "And when you pray do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. God is not grading our prayer and he is not impressed by an extensive vocabulary, eloquence, or marathon prayers. What he wants is honesty, humility, and sincerity. Simply talk to Him in your normal tone of voice, openly and honestly.
Prayer need not be a source of intimidation, frustration, or complexity. Choose a time, space, and posture and allow the words to flow from your mouth to God's listening ears. Remember the art of good conversation and take the time to listen to what he has to say back to you.
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