The Live & Learn Guide™ to Praying: Creating A Relationship With God
Did you ever wonder if prayer really works? Have you ever been concerned that you’re not doing it “right?” Are you repeating by rote those old prayers from your childhood, wondering if it’s really possible that God hears that droning? You’re not alone:
In this book you’ll learn:
- What makes a prayer a prayer
- How to create a prayer, and how to pray
- How to know your prayers are being heard and answered
- The benefits of praying
- Whether traditional prayers or “home-made” prayers are right for you
What makes a prayer a prayer?
The dictionary defines prayer as a petition to God (or a god) in words or thought. Under the same definition we also read that prayer can mean a slight chance, as in “she hasn’t got a prayer.” I think that pretty much sums up how people view praying; you’re either in the camp who is petitioning God for something you need, or you’re in the camp who equates the very act of prayer with hopelessness.
But what if there were another way to look at prayer? What if you found that prayer was more like a dialogue than a monologue? Imagine talking to your best friend, telling him about your hopes, your fears, your accomplishments and your mistakes – all the while knowing that your dear friend listens without judgment. You might also expect that good friend to be truthful – to tell you when you were wrong and help you see how to make amends; a good friend would also be supportive – giving you positive feedback and constructive criticism; he would also celebrate with you, grieve with you, stick by you through thick and thin, build you up and help you to see your own good qualities; she would be someone you could honestly be yourself with.
Someone you know you can ask, when you really are in need of help, and who will without fail come to your aid. A good friend knows you, sees in your actions or hears in your words what you really want, and lets you make your own mistakes without saying “I told you so.”
I believe the foundation of such a relationship is based on trust, communication, and a sense of personal worthiness. For example, when I was getting married over 20 years ago, my very best childhood friend supported me, shopped with me and stood up for me. When my marriage ended a few years later, my dear friend was there to help me pick up the pieces. It wasn’t until many, many years later that she admitted to me that she “knew” my marriage wouldn’t last. She knew he wasn’t right for me, but she also could see how important it was for me at the time to go through with my wedding. To this day I trust her, communicate honestly with her, and I have enough sense of self-worth to ask for her time, opinion and caring. In a sense, I believe I deserve these things from her.
Imagine a similar story, with God playing the part of my friend. In my prayers, I pour out my dreams for the future with my husband as well as some misgivings or fears I have. I know God is listening to me and supporting me as I prepare for my wedding, and that He is with me on the altar, sharing in my joy. Imagine, as things begin to fall apart in my marriage that I’m also praying, talking to God and pouring out my woes and frustrations, and that God is listening without judging me. Maybe He knew all along it wouldn’t work out, but I never feel him say “I told you so,” or feel that He is punishing me for mistakes in my marriage. In this example, I trust God, I communicate my honest feelings, and I have enough sense of self-worth to ask for God’s attention and caring. I believe I’m deserving of God’s love.