In the last few weeks I've been reading about prayer, and one of the chief discussions about prayer is whether or not worded prayers (spoken, out loud, etc.) are the only types of prayer. Obviously, for some who are at a stage in their life where they've seen incredible pain there isn't much issue with prayer as wordless wailing as they wrestle with reality. However, as a way of transitioning from the worded prayers we get taught into what some call "contemplative" prayer I thought I'd give 5 simple words that we can regularly pray with the purpose of drawing closer to God and His mission for us.
1. Thanks - prayers of gratitude should DOMINATE our lives. I'd even go so far as to say that prayers of gratitude are more powerful in our growth in Christlikeness than prayers for forgiveness.
2. Why? - praying our questions, doubts, and fears is a critical relational activity and it is where God's formissional life finds solid ground to stand on.
3. Yes - our prayer can never be reserved for simple internal quiet. Prayer is opening ourselves to God so that He can open His desires - His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven - up to us.
4. Please - petitions in prayer often get the shaft as some people shy away from asking God for anything so as to not seem "self-centered" or "all about ourselves". The problem is that this isn't Biblical - the Psalms are filled with requests and, by nature, so are our lives.
5. Stay- for me, the concept of abiding in prayer has become quite important. Can we pull our foot off the gas long enough to realize that Jesus promised that if we abide with Him He will abide with us? Can we simply "be" in God's presence without an agenda? This is a massive transition point in prayer, when we move from prayer as an activity to prayer as a disposition or condition we allow in our lives.
Try praying these 5 words this week - simply state them to God and listen. What will you find when you bring a simpler agenda to your communication with God?