“Will you lead us in prayer?”
Do these words cause you to break out in sweat? Do your hands immediately become clammy? Do words that resemble prayer escape you? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone.
I started my relationship with Jesus when I was nine. After baptism, while my body was still shivering and the water was dripping off my hair, my neighbors approached me with an irrefusable invitation to their house every night at 6:00 pm for prayer meeting. Prayer meeting!!!! My heart started racing and I instantly tried to conjure up some reason I couldn’t attend.
My neighbors, The Williams were serious about that prayer meeting. If you weren’t in the house before 5:55, you wouldn’t get in. They locked the doors and took the phone off the hook for fear of being disturbed. They shut themselves in to commune with God.
Their house was a giant sized prayer closet and they where allowing me to join them in their most intimate place and position with God.
The nine year old me had no idea how special that invitation was. I didn’t realize that prayer would open the door to a relationship with the ruler of the universe. I was oblivious to the treasure that was wrapped in the gift bag of prayer. Needless to say, I’m so thankful for that strongly suggested meeting. I have a strong prayer life today because of these two transparent souls.
I must admit that prayer can be intimidating to a believer that has not trodden on prayer ground. If you are one of those who have always wanted a strong prayer life but are completely clueless. Don’t worry! There is hope!
Prayer is simply talking to God. Although it may contradict what you see and hear during Sunday morning worship, prayer does not require some special jargon or specific position.
Prayer is speaking one on one to the only person who knows everything about you and loves you just the same.
You can be yourself with God. In fact that’s what he desires. He wants you, just as you are. You see, God loves you just as you are but he loves you too much to allow you to remain the same. Through prayer, he will transform you into the child he knows you have the potential to be.
I used to feel that I had to pray like the seasoned sisters. I felt God’s presence when they prayed and I wanted that for myself. So much so, I tried to imitate them in my personal prayer life. What I found was God didn’t want a duplicate of some super saint. He wanted authenticity. He wanted to hear my heart. He wanted to meet me where I was.
That’s what he wants from you. God is waiting to hear your heart. What do you think of him? In what ways have you disappointed him? What are you most thankful for? What are your needs? No pretty language or piety necessary. Just be real! Remember he can spell a phony 10,000 miles away.