Grace & Prayer

I have mentioned before in this blog about the need for us to allow the Lord to become the focus of our prayer life and how form often gets in the way of true, heart-felt communication with Him. I was reading some blogs and came across one that has spoken well. So I am, with his gracious permission, posting it here. It will say what I (and many others) have experienced in the embracing of grace. I think many of you will enjoy its thoughts.

HOW GRACE DESTROYED MY PRAYER LIFE

by Bing M at Grace Roots


My prayer usually started with “My loving father in heaven” for a long time. Eventually I got bored with that salutation, so I tried few others such as “My precious Father”, “Our loving gracious Father in heaven” or simply “Lord Jesus”. I was taught that quoting Scriptures while praying is very effective. In other words, we might get more action from God if we claim things which he had promised in the Scriptures but have forgotten to give to us.

Every time, during the family prayer in the evening, I wanted to make sure my kids followed the Christian discipline of sitting in full attention with their eyes closed. I was proud of being a perfect Christian Dad, making sure even our 2 year old followed my strict prayer-time discipline.

Depending on who is present, most of my public prayers were directed to them, kind of using the prayer time to preach to them or to show off my religiosity. After all, that’s the only time they are forced to be silent and listen to me. When my parents (who are not protestant Christians) are present, I threaten them through my prayer about the countless punishments God is going to send on them if they don’t accept my belief system. My conscious effort there was to prove them wrong and prove me right.

Depending on whom I am praying with, my prayer changed. I pray the most hypocritical prayer if there are unbelievers around. In the midst of super hyper believers, I pray as if I am also super hyper like them. You know, praying for the souls perishing all over the world? I knew how to add a touch of unbearable pain to the tone of my prayer to make it more dramatic.

Do you want to add more excitement and power to your prayer? Add more loud “Hallelujahs”.

In short, my public prayer was a show and my private prayer was mostly a laundry list of things I thought I couldn’t live without.

Grace destroyed all this drama and made it unbelievably simple. I can’t believe I did all that for so many years. I feel embarrassed. Now when I pray, I hardly know that I am praying. It is like talking to a real person. It’s a joyful occasion of tremendous freedom, peace and love. I don’t mind talking silly things to Him. Now I don’t necessarily want anyone around when I pray because I know that my prayer might sound very silly and child-like; mostly do not make any sense to the people who don’t know where I am coming from.

And I think that’s ok.

5 thoughts on “Grace & Prayer

    1. We’ve probably all been there – if we have lived in Jesus long enough. It blesses me that this gentleman admits it. The wonderful thing is that our Father loved us, accepted us and used us anyway. When we truly bump into grace — it changes us and how we think and act – dramatically.

  1. much2ponder

    I don’t know if I’ve ever been there. Maybe in some ways I have. I recall in the first several years of my walk with the Lord I did not even want to pray out loud for fear of sounding ridiculous.

    I felt as though I was surrounded by others who seemed to know just how to say things using just the right tone and amount of depth. It was as though their prayers could reach up and touch God in a way that seemed impossible to the “regular” person.

    I thought these people had something I didn’t have and that they were able to reach the ear of God in ways that I could only dream of. In reality being surrounded by this type of prayer made me feel as though I was missing something and was spiritually inferior.

    Prayer became something I strived to become “good at” yet rarely felt comfortable with. I knew that if I was going to have any power in ministry I would need to have an effective prayer life. I was taught that, yet it never came easy for me. I wanted to serve the Lord with the greatest amount of his power possible because I knew without his power anything I did would be just me without him.

    Gaining a prayer language opened up a whole new world of communication with the Lord for me. I found that when I did not have the “right” words to speak this served as an amazing bridge that led straight to the heart of God, but even so I never felt as though my prayer life was as it should be.

    Deep in my heart I felt that prayer was something that the Lord wanted me to invest in so I read books, and listened to teachings, went to conferences on prayer as a means to grow in this area. I drew from any avenue on prayer that popped up.

    Being that I am a bit of a perfectionist, I thought prayer was something I could work on and master, (Ha ha) but it seemed difficult for me to come up with the right words to say or evoke feelings and emotions in my prayer life as so many others could do so readily. There were times when I felt like a complete failure.

    Then I read or heard something about prayer that changed my view of it totally. Prayer is a faith thing! When I accepted prayer as a faith thing and began to believe the Lord for the words to speak in my prayers, it seemed much more natural. I began to trust God to show me his heart during prayer. I prayed about praying.

    Today, my prayer life is different. It is not out there in front of anyone else or meant to show others anything. I feel it is as you speak of here and in your teachings, a conversation between God and I. Sometimes is it a connection between my heart and his where no words are spoken, but most often it is just a few thoughts or words sent in his direction or they are in written form.

    Prayer= communication with God. Its purposes may continue to be unclear, but trust was the piece that made my prayer life seem as it should be. Between my heart and his.

    1. Yes, I think many of us are learning to trust the always present, always listening, always hearing, always Lord. Our ways of communicating with Him in this belonging place of acceptance (grace) is such a precious thing – only in faith and always in fullness. Not my striving, but my trusting.

  2. much2ponder

    (((Iris))) thinking of you today with a smile. Trusting the Lord with my heart and yours…he is faithful. Haven’t had much inspiration in writing these day on my own blog, but for some reason your thoughts have been stirring mine. Maybe I should post some of my thoughts here on my own blog as a post. LOL> Thank you for you kind heart.

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