Making sense of prayer has taken me a long time. Many years. Like several decades. For those that are new readers to this blog post, I’m talking to God through my blogging and you’re getting to look over my shoulders. My hope is that my honest conversation will some of you to discover how you can enjoy talking with God more. And when you enjoy talking with God more, you’ll talk to God more often. That’s a good thing.
How Demystifying Helps Me
[Talking to God] Thank you for helping get past the clutter of praying like the ways that other people pray. Not that it’s bad, but it just didn’t get at my heart. I know it’s supposed to be good to learn to pray from people that pray more than I do. Or to learn from people who have been following God longer than I have. Let me just put it more bluntly. It just didn’t make sense to me; well, I mean to say that it made some sense, but part of me still felt distant and disconnected, or shall I say, disengaged.
This word “demystifying” unlocked something for me. Words and phrases have a way of doing that for me, I’m discovering. Thank you for that. There’s a lot about spirituality, and the Christian version of that, of course, that is mysterious. Of course, I’m not going to take away all of the mystery. But this demystifying for me takes one layer of the mystery away, and in so doing, it has helped me to level up to a more engaging conversation with you, God. It’s just made such a difference, to the degree that I want to blog about it and let others in on what I’m learning.
Learning to Talk with God
Some things I can only learn by experiencing and practicing it; being a heady person, it’s taken me too long to get this. Whether it’s riding a bike or swimming, and you know I didn’t start swimming until after age 35, I can only learn cognitively from other people, whether experts explaining in person, or watching YouTube videos, or reading instructional books. All that knowledge can only get me some basic know how. It’s with practice that I’m learning to find and to be comfortable with my own prayer language, or to put it into my language, talking to God and having a conversation with God.
Even the word pray, I’m reluctant to use it, though I will use it with other Christians that seem to be more comfortable with that term. I’m personally more comfortable with the words talking and conversing. Because that’s what it is. I just want to talk with you about some things that are on my mind and heart. I’ve been wanting to talk with you more because it’s become one step more demystified for me. Thank you for that.
Being translated, just as others have paraphrased the Bible and translated it into their a colloquial vernacular, to use terminology and language that is easier for the readers to understand the biblical text, when I can talk with God the way I talk to other people, that’s like paraphrasing my praying and making prayer more understandable to me. That’s a good thing, right? I believe so!
Not Praying on my Knees
As I’m finding how I can be more at ease to talk with you more often, I’m also discovering my better posture for talking with you. I am really enjoying talking with you in my morning walks (some Christians call it prayer walking) and I’ve consciously made some reminders along the path to remember how you’ve spoken to me through your words. Like it says in Matthew 6, look at the birds of the air and the flowers in the field. Since God cares for them so well, God is going to take care of you even better. And it warms my heart to hear the birds chirping and the flowers waving, to remember how much you care for me. I need that reminder often; some people might call that a crutch. Well, yes, I happen to need some crutches to get through life. So what? I’m not that kind of a strong-willed guy that can take on life all by myself. I’ll take all the help I can get.
I know from paintings and teachings that lots of people pray on their knees. But I think there are more people who would be talking with you if they only knew that there are other postures that are just as acceptable and just as powerful. The point is not the posture, right? It’s the level of honesty and vulnerability of my conversation with you. It felt affirming to hear the preacher say today that he doesn’t pray on his knees much because he can’t stay focused that long. Yup, that’s me too. And, to also hear that one of the other famous preachers does prayer walks too as an intimate routine for how he talks with you too, that’s good. I’m not alone; I’m not crazy. Whew.
My Fingers like Talking
The other thing I’ve discovered, obviously, is that I enjoy talking with you, God, by typing. I’m typing in my journal on pretty much a daily basis. And I’m typing here on this Demystifying Prayer blog weekly. This blogging format, when I’m writing for me, and for you, God, is an inviting space for me to get my thoughts down as a means of communicating. Talking is using words to express thoughts, not necessarily using one’s voice. Yeah, there are some people that don’t have voices, so they have to communicate using sign language or writing.
Another thing I like about talking with you through typing is that I have an easy-to-read record of my praying, like a prayer journal. And when I look back at our past conversations, I can recall what I talked with you about and how you’ve responded and answered in due time.
Again, I want to talk with you about this prayer blog and I’m anticipating something you can do with it. I believe this blog will help some of the readers here to discover how they can enjoy talking with you in their own personal way and then having more conversations with you. I definitely want that to happen. I humbly ask, will you do something beyond my imagination with this little project, please?
I confess that when I first dreamed up this project, it was a bit in haste. I thought I could be writing the next big book in 30 weeks. Then I’d contact 30 publishers and 1 of them would like my prayer blog enough to turn it into a bonafide printed book. But you know that I don’t want to play that game of hitting the press junket and doing keynotes and workshops and conferences. Well, I do like conferences, the networking part of it, you know that.
But knowing I’ve been hasty in the past, I took 30 days to pray before starting this project. And then the reality of my writing style sunk in; I’m not going to have a published book, because those publishers need some assurance that my writing will have a sizeable audience, a market. But I don’t write with entertaining storytelling like best-selling authors. That’s just not me. I know how to be cognitive; I know how to feel. I’m not so sure I can convey that to a huge number of readers. And, I’ve come to the point of saying to myself, that’s okay. I can still do this prayer blog, without that kind of an unrealistic dream. What I can do is keep up my conversations with you, God. And, I can let other people look over my shoulders and see how I’m talking with you. And, some people will be helped and motivated to talk with you more too. It doesn’t have to be a lot of people. I don’t have to know who they are. Of course, it’s enough that I get to talk with you for the next 30 weeks in this way. But maybe, you’ll do something more with this blog, more than I can think or imagine. That would be so very cool. And that’s how the words of Ephesians 3:20-21 can come true right here.
That’s a Wrap
One last thing. Thank you for helping me to think about what I’ll talk with you about next time, which is how my typing to talk with you can be a meaningful way to pray with and for someone else. Help me come up with an interesting title that prompts a few more people to click. Let me stew on that for a few days on the back burner. Now it’s your turn; talk back to me. Let me know what you think. Over and out.