Monday, January 30, 2012

How to Pray

Praying for some people is really hard. What is prayer? What does it look like? Can I do it while I'm driving, cooking, feeding my baby, making love, doing yoga? Yes to all of them.  It takes practice and I'd argue some discipline. Christine Sine from the beautiful blog GodSpace suggests some "tools" that can help us with our prayers.
Here are few:
  1. We need to listen with the active intention of doing something. I find it helps to keep a piece of paper or my prayer journal with me as I listen to the news. I write down the one or two items that most disturb my equilibrium and make them the focus for my prayer.
  2. We need to listen with the intent to find out where God is already at work. Sometimes, as with the NPR program on Tomato slavery this week, I do more research on the issue -- not specifically to learn more about the depths of the problem, but to learn about how others are already responding. Recognizing that God is already at work bringing comfort, support and provision is all the encouragement and motivation we need to get involved.
  3. We need to listen to the heart of God in the midst of the pain. Sometimes my response to the news is to sit quietly before God imagining how God feels about the tragedy I have become aware of. At times I feel that God allows me to glimpse the deep pain and agony that is at the very heart of the eternal One's being. It is a pain that is so deep it aches with every broken person in our world and grieves with every lost and damaged soul.
  4. We need to listen for places that we have contributed to the tragedy we are hearing about. Decisions about how to dress, what to eat, and where to spend our money can all have unintended consequences. Sometimes listening at this level calls us to prayers of repentance and inner changes that transform the way we view our world and the ways we interact with it.
  5. We need to listen together with friends. This kind of listening often provides good fuel for a group meeting which not only prays together but also holds members accountable to their intended responses. Once we have shared what we plan to do with someone else, it is harder to back down from our intentions.
Find more of her prayer tools here.

No comments:

Post a Comment