We are all of us closer to praying than we sometimes realise. At key moments and problem-times of life, we easily begin to pray. God loves us. His motive in making us was love.
His greatest longing is that we should get to know him, come to love him, enjoy his company. And when we talk to God or listen to him, heart to heart, this is prayer.
When we pray, it helps to know who we’re talking to. God is not just a picture in our imagination. He has shown us what he is like – in the Bible, and supremely in Jesus. To discover prayer, we have first to discover God. And this means we have to let God be our God – not just the Lord of the universe, majestic and remote, but Lord of our lives. We must get out of the limelight, vacate the stage, and make our hearts his royal throne.
Jesus prayed a great deal. And he taught his followers to pray. His teaching highlights prayer as the focus for the whole Christian life. Before we can discover prayer, we must discover Jesus. When Jesus walked on earth, he really prayed. And he taught others to pray; not by running seminars by being caught in the act. His whole life was a prayer.
Prayer is a spiritual activity, and God has given his Holy Spirit to help us to pray.
So rather than struggling to do something that goes against the grain, we need to let him take us up into prayer. We would have little hope of praying the Jesus way were it not for God’s gift to us of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer needs to be part of our ordinary human life. As everything we are and do becomes open to God, all that is deepest in us can be turned into prayer. When we put God first in our lives, start to blurt out our thanks to him for this goodness and come clean with him about our problems; then we’re not just about to discover prayer – we’re already praying.
From Discovering Prayer by Andrew Knowles, Canon Theologian of Chelmsford Cathedral, published by Lion Publishing PLC., used by permission.
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