Prayer is not an instant easy thing. I wish I could write a post claiming “Three Surefire Steps to Hear God Speak.” A lot of blog titles are written in that “sounds too good to be true” kind of way. Prayer does not yield instant guaranteed results like cooking soup in the microwave. It takes time, practice, and patience. Prayer is not an instant thing, but it is also not as difficult as we make it. Peter Grieg teaches in "The Prayer Course" that talking with God is like climbing up on our Father's lap and spending time together because we love each other. Rules aren't required to sit on God's lap. It's about simply spending time together and enjoying each other. That isn't complicated. We don't need to master a new prayer vocabulary filled with “thee, ye, and thou.” We can simply share what is on our mind. Perhaps you've always thought you couldn't pray. You can. Perhaps you thought you weren't smart enough or eloquent enough to pray. You are. Perhaps you feel like a lightweight when you hear of prayer warriors who pray for hours straight without stopping. Perhaps you feel you could never pray that long because you will run out of things to say. Once I teach you the One and Only Rule of Prayer you will never run out of things to say to God ever again. So here it is, the One and Only Rule of Prayer:
Prayer is being completely honest with God about everything going on around us and everything going on inside of us.
That’s it. Whatever has happened, tell God about it. Whatever is happening, tell God about it. Whatever you are thinking, tell God about it. Whatever you are feeling, tell God about it. Worried about your kids? Tell God about it. Angry at God? Tell God about it. Praise is telling God the honest truth about how much we love God. Confession is telling God the honest truth about how badly we've screwed up. Petition and intercession are telling God the honest truth about what we need and want for ourselves and for others. Thanksgiving is telling God the honest truth about how much we appreciate God. Just be honest and open up. You can speak out loud or think silently to yourself. Either way God will hear you.
But why tell these things to God when God already knows everything? True, we don't need to fill God in on stuff that God may not know, but by sharing everything we are inviting God to be a part of our life. That is huge. It's also what God wants most: to be invited in. Not only that, it helps us to talk it out. The act of finding the right words to express our thoughts to another person helps us figure things out in our own head. Listening can be the greatest gift we can give. God does far more than just listen, but we will save that for the next post.
So, are you ready to pray? Get quiet. Then think about what is going on around you and inside of you. Tell God about it. See that? You’ praying.
(I highly recommend Peter Grieg's free Prayer Course which includes access to video teaching sessions and printable handouts and leader guides. Check it out at https://www.prayercourse.org)