What are the first thoughts that enter your mind when someone mentions to you the word prayer? If you were anything like me, your mind would be cast back to when you were a young child. I remember being at school and every morning at assembly we would say a prayer. I had no idea why we said a prayer or what it’s fundamental purpose was, it was just the done thing. Prayer was never explained, and if it was it was always just a simplicitic answer, such as “we are giving thanks to God”.
Looking back with slighty more wisdom than I had in those tender years, it is not difficult to understand why my teachers could not explain what prayers were, how they worked or how or even why we should say them. The truth is that most, if not all of my teachers had no idea what they were talking about, they were just reciting what they had been told, so their understanding was superficial at best and at worst it was completely non-existent.
Jesus stated that when you pray you shouldn’t “ramble like heathens who think they’ll be heard if they talk a lot.” Jesus also stated “Ask, and you shall receive, seek and you will find” The key ‘secret’ to prayer is to believe that God has heard you, many people ask the same thing over and over again. Let’s say for example that you need some money quickly to pay a bill, you should connect with what you perceive as God, become humble in heart and ask, then shut up and listen. God will answer, just be open to the communication method that God choices to answer you with.
Just Do It:
There is never a set time or place or method of praying, personally I pray in the morning and at night before drifting off to sleep. Sometimes I pray in a formal kneeling manner, it really depends on what feels right at the time. There is no right or wrong time to pray, you can do it at the traffic lights, just ask God which way you should go, see what happens. God wants you to talk with him, so don’t restrict you communication, how would you feel if your children only talked to you at certain times? You want your children to be honest, respectful and open with you, God wants exactly the same.
Through the power of prayer you will start to learn much about yourself, if you are honest with yourself and with God then the Kingdom of Heaven is open to you, Jesus stated “Everything I do, you shall do and more” Jesus demonstrated what we are capable of achieving if we love God with all our hearts, God wants us to be happy, but he allows all things, it is only us who chooses to make ourselves unhappy by rejecting Gods love.
There is more than one way to pray, some people like to ‘talk’ mind to mind with God, that seems to be the usual way of communicating, and this is also my usual way of communication, but have you ever considered visualization as a way of communicating with God? They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this has never been more true than with mental images, they can easily be used in your normal communications with God and they are incredibly powerful tools.
When you visualize it is very important that you actually view yourself as part of the scene that you are imaging, you should always be viewing the scene as if through your own eyes. When you visualize and you are not actively involved in the process then you start to weaken the experience, it becomes just like any other day dream.
A Visualization I like to use:
A simple visualization that I like to do is where I imagine myself in a forest opening, there are some logs on the floor surrounding an old camp fire. There is a small stream that I can hear flowing close by, and there are mountains in the distance. When I use this visualization, I like to immerse myself in it fully by feeling the wind, the smells, the sensations under foot. I also like to look and see if there are any animals etc.
When I do this visualization I don’t like to force any beings to appear, I always give permission that any beings are allowed to appear to me as long as they are from God, and that they harbor me no negative intentions. I like to use this visualization as my own personal healing retreat, you can include anything in your retreat you wish, for example, you can include a pool which contains healing water, all you have to do is believe that the water has healing properties and then go and take a swim and you will emerge fully refreshed.
So, to sum it all up…
The only wrong way that you can pray is if you don’t believe that you are actually communicating with God, it doesn’t really matter if you use active visualization or if you just sit down close your eyes and just ‘talk’, as long as you have a humble heart and that you believe fully in God, then you can’t fail. God wants to talk with you, he is very patient, well he has waited this long hasn’t he?
Do you really believe?
Jesus said “if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”. This is the belief that you need in God and for the power of prayer to work, it is the easiest thing in the world to do, but also the hardest due to fear, but that is a subject for another day.
May God answer all your prayers.