Welcome: An Introduction

Sharing the insights I discover as I explore and experience the mystery that is our reality. Join me in my journey and share yours.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

An Evolution to Prayer?

1 John 5:14-15 (English Standard Version)

14And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

The cartoon was taken off a great blog, check it out sometime! : http://www.nakedpastor.com/

Prayer is a concept that I feel is widely misinterpreted. I think both non-christians and christians fall into the trap that God is some genie in the bottle and if we rub the bottle a certain way then...*poof* our prayer will be granted! I can't even recall the number of non-christians I've had conversations with that base the reason for their disbelief on the fact that some prayer or another, often spoken desperately in painful circumstances, wasn't answered the they wanted. So....then...naturally, there must have been no God to hear their request...or perhaps God isn't chalked up to be what everyone makes Him out to be...maybe He isn't as all-powerful and all-knowing as some profess.

I'm not going to say I have God figured out (who does?), or prayer for that matter. In fact, I've had my struggles with the concept of prayer myself. Not because what I asked for wasn't granted but because I didn't see the point in asking it in the first place. After all, if God knows the words we say before we utter them (as the Bible states) than why bother utter them at all? ...I know, perhaps that is cynical, but sometimes I can't help myself from allowing cynisicm to creep in and invade my thoughts/attitudes. We all have our faultlines in our faith, our weak points, the concepts or questions we struggle with, and prayer has been my faultline in the past. I guess that's what makes us so human.

This verse though illuminates one truth regarding prayer, giving us some spiritual food to chew on. "If we ask anything according to His will..."....Hmm...according to His will...The Bible also talks about our spiritual maturity and how the deeper we walk with God, the more we start to understand His truths and the more we understand His truths we are are changed by His presence in our life- by fearing Him, by worshipping Him, by praising Him and by opening humble hearts wide to let his light in, casting out the darkness buried shamefully deep in our soul's corridors.  And the more we allow our false illusions to be shed, our attachments to this world to loosen and fall away, the more we are conformed to the likeness of Christ. The more closely attuned we become to the will of God. The easier it is to pray honestly and openly and refreshingly in God's presence.

So that makes me wonder outloud this morning...there surely must be within the history of every believer an evolution of prayer. Where perhaps one first started off with a list of demands or wants or needs to God, expecting them to be met, wondering waiting, sometimes impatiently, for their "wishes'' to be granted. And then perhaps progressing to the point where they were so awed by the magnificence of their Creator that they felt so small in the presence of one so vast and eternal where they felt shamed from asking anything at all. Then, perhaps progressing to the point where, though humbled, they felt the closeness and connection to draw close to God, to share their thoughts, their pains, frustrations, fears, in more of a conversation and less as one making a proposal before God. And then perhaps, as some have experienced, even closer, where words are no longer necessary.

I wish I had more time this morning to reflect on this, but as I don't want this post to become so long as to lose some readers I think I will continue it another time. I guess we can all ask ourselves this morning where along the point of evolution our prayer life stands and in what direction it is going. Are we moving closer to experiencing God personally, or further away? And why? Is it because we imagine God as some genie and feel wounded when our requests aren't granted? Is it because we think God is too far outside us and above us where He can't be approached? (He is much greater than ourselves but the thought that He can't be approached and made personal is nothing but a lie! The Bible tells us to approach the throne of God with confidence! )...or are we in a very comfortable place where we are growing more and more in the truths of God and run eagerly each time we enter prayer into the arms of our Maker, thanking Him, praising Him, and sharing with Him all our thoughts/worries/experiences/pains and seek His will first before requesting anything?

There was a long span of time when I didn't pray at all. Yep, I said it, I had no prayer life. Let me tell you friend, that is a hollow and dark place to be. We need a connection with our creator! So, let me just say that if you find yourself in that place right now just reach out to Him, even just a few honest words coming from your heart opens the gate to His presence. Just say those words and wait...let your soul wait in silence... and God will fill the emptiness of your soul with joy unimaginable. He will provide you with a blessed assurance. 

~May you walk in His light and love this day. Many blessings.


  1. A well written and interesting search for answers, I like it.

  2. Jessica this was an awesome post...I am a Christian but have to admit I have a problem with prayer...I envy people who can pray so easily so fluently...It's so hard for me and it doesn't matter what it's about.. I seem to have an easier time to pray for someone else and struggle praying for myself.. a work in progress for sure ..I look forward to reading more and connecting through blogging.. :)

  3. To me prayer is like having a conversation with God. I prayer everyday sometimes without even trying to, it just comes out. Especially when traveling at night in the rain or during a snowstorm. I feel like this, it is a great way to communicate with God, even though sometimes unanswered prayers are what we really need at that moment.

  4. Hi Bongo...I can certainly relate to your prayer struggles! It took a long time for me to really learn to pray...I could pray for others, as you mentioned it's easier for you to do as well. Sometimes it's hard to come before God with our own needs, or exposing to Him our own feelings because it really does lead to some self-reflection and opening up of emotions-sometimes raw emotions.

    Sometimes I hear people say some pretty long, flowery prayers...and that can be all good and fine but I really think it's the intention of the one praying that matters, the opening up of one's heart to God, not the amount of words one says.

    I will admit that I didn't pray to God for about 8 months or so and when I finally did I remember it clearly. I was upstairs putting away laundry, with a million concerns and worries in my mind and then heard my children starting to bicker and I just felt so overwhelmed. I wanted to reach out to God but I didn't know what words to say. So I just simply said, "God, please help me, I need you." And then opened my heart up to Him and knelt down. It was amazing what happened, with just those few words God's spirit seemed to come flooding in and washed my soul in only the peace He can give. A peace I desired for so long but I believe He most likely kept back because, up to that moment I hadn't come to Him in humility, in need...I just had felt a callousness in my heart and my heart had just refused to open up to that point.

    So I'd just suggest, if you have a hard time praying, don't worry about the amount of words you say, just open your heart to God...and wait...and you might just be very much amazed at what happens! :) I will pray for you...for prayer is a very essential thing. It is our connection with God, where we can have a conversation with Him or just feel His intimate presence in the corridors of our heart, sweeping it clean of junk and clutter and filling them with His light and love.

    I pray you walk in peace today :)

  5. Ruth...that's beautiful that you have so many conversations with God throughout your day :) It definitley helps one grow into a deeper and more rich relationship with God. God is amazing :) I think that's great that you seek God in moments like travelling...that actually could be a great suggestion for others too-those moments in our day when we find ourselves alone are great opportunities to open ourselves up to God and converse with Him.

    Thank you for your comments :) ~ blessings

  6. I have been taught and it has become my experience that God gives us what we ask for (as Jesus said). We have exactly what we want because God always gives us what we want. Look at what you have reaped to know what you have sown. If we're not getting what we think we've asked for then could it be we don't understand what it is we've really asked. If we are not getting what we ask for immediately, what we think we are wanting now, then we have a bigger prayer out there that is superseding the one we currently have.

    This is at the very heart of our struggles with praying for ourselves that you speak of. It takes an introspective heart, a desire to see more clearly the very things, the darkness within us that keep us separated from God manifesting in our lives. To quote a friend who just posted on my page, "We always have prayers going, we are constantly creating whether we are aware of it or not." All thought is prayer. So, what are you thinking about?

    In Love

  7. Thank you so much for your comment hikariboshi. I have to say that I never really thought of prayer being that way...and I kept reading your message a few times mindfully to digest it...and when I did ,it does make a lot of sense! I found the notion, "If we're not getting what we think we've asked for then could it be we don't understand what it is we've really asked." Really thought provoking...I feel like I want to say more but I need to think more about this! You present new and refreshing ideas...thank you :)

  8. Great thoughts Jessica... awesome subject.

    I have prayed in tears, in shouts, with scripture, in ecstasy, while writing, in sweet worship, on my face, with song, in agony, in sorrow, in terror, in anger, with fervor, while sleeping, with great joy, but the most memorable time of prayer is when I sit with my Friend at my side and say little, but just listen, and let the waves of Grace break over me, and if I say something its often just, "Abba" (Daddy), or "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus..."

  9. Thank you George for your comment :) It's a good reminder that prayer can come in so many various forms...really perhaps infinite forms because it is experienced and pursued oftentimes very differently by each individual. God is amazing :) Thanks again. ~ Many blessings.