“Prayer is not an occasional exercise to which you turn now and then; it is a life attitude. It is the will to co-operate with God in your total life. It is an attitude rather than an act.”
~ E. Stanley Jones, How To Pray
Attitude really is everything! If you’re looking to strengthen your understanding of the power that prayer plays in your life I can’t recommend enough a short book called “How To Pray” by E. Stanley Jones. It just might open your mind to the unlimited possibilities of the Universe and teach you how to speak with God much more often and effectively.
In the past, I can remember bumbling my way through many a prayer while kneeling at the alter during communion. What do I say? How do I say it? What if I say it wrong? Is anyone listening to this? Please God keep my family safe and healthy. How long should I stay up here? Feed the hungry of world God. Is anyone watching me? I wonder if my shirt is untucked?
Does any of this sound familiar? Not a lot of real communication going on there but I know that some of what I wanted to say got through to God even then. Clearly I had questions but I never had the courage to ask anyone. My ego wouldn’t want anyone to know I didn’t have it all under control.
If you’re like me and just beginning your education on prayer, you really have to let go of what you thought you knew. Open all the channels, clear the mind and get excited. Richard Rohr offers this advice…“We have to pray for the grace of a beginner’s mind. The beginner’s mind is a posture of eagerness, of spiritual hunger. It knows it needs something. To acknowledge oneself as a beginner is to be open to transformation.”
That’s right. You can pray to learn how to pray. Doesn’t make sense when you “think” about it but when you surrender those thoughts to infinity you just might be surprised by what you learn.
If you’re looking for a place to start or begin again, E. Stanley Jones says to “Breathe the prayer ‘Teach me to pray’ as you begin your quest for prayer life.” I’m finding that it’s a simple and effective way to begin the education and unwinding of what I never understood until now. And ‘now’ is what we’ve got.
Prayer isn’t just for bedtime anymore. It’s up to you to open your prayer life up.
- The Person of God in Prayer (thecreativeprayer.wordpress.com)
- Am I Praying with My Whole Heart? (underthecoverofprayer.wordpress.com)