Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Why Pray?

All prayer begins with a desire to have something. We pray to God to grant us our wishes, to have, to be, or to do. We pray for what we want God to give us or what we want to happen to us. Prayer may take the form of asking for good health for ourselves or someone we love. It could be that we pray for something good to happen such as obtaining a new job or something bad not to happen such as the death of a loved one. Since God is the ultimate giver, we as his children ask for our many desires to be granted to us.
As children, we seek simple things. We might ask God to make it snow so we would not have to go to school. It may be forgiveness that we are seeking and we look to God as a loving father who will pick us up when we have fallen. He is our ultimate care giver and as the provider of all things. We come to God for all our human needs. In our simplicity, we expect God to grant all our requests and as children, we can sometimes become angry with him if our desires are not granted. Our prayers to God are simple, we talk to God, or we talk at God and expect him to grant our requests.
The emphasis of our desires in prayer must move us away from the simple childlike need to constantly receive and move us toward a real connection with the God who is with us and in us. It is in this manner that we satisfy the souls longing to feel his presence and to abide in his embrace. It is to experience his ultimate destiny for us.
When our prayer life matures, we do not always have a desire for things; we also have a desire to be a part of the world around us. Through contemplative prayer, our hearts, minds and souls desire a deeper meaning in life. We have a desire at the level of our soul to connect with our divine creator. Prayer to God articulates our longing and desire to find his love and to experience that love within us. We want God to be with us and we want to be with God. Prayer not only becomes a talking to God, but now we seek to listen to what God has to tell us. We pray to seek his desires for us and we desire to do his will. Our desire in prayer now takes the form of communication with God. Just as communication is the way we get to know one another, we seek to get to know God. Our prayers of desire now involve the wish to be a part of his life and his creation. We seek a deep connection with others as well as a deep connection with God.
We learn more and more about his character and how his perfect will is working itself out in our lives. Deepening our understanding of God also deepens our faith and desire to worship. As we become increasingly aware of our limitations, we can rest in the knowledge that our God is omniscient. Availing ourselves of God’s counsel is a blessing of prayer.

We do not have all the answers to the whys and hows of life. Isn't it comforting to know that we do not need to know all the answers? It is freeing to understand that we are not in control. To pray is to rest in God's guidence. It is to begin to let go and just be who we are.
God loves us just as we are and prayer with God helps us to find out who we are instead of trying to be something we are not.

Peace and love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

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