Praying

I’m wrestling with something today, and as my faithful readers know, the best thing for me to do is to write about it and then to read comments from friends, to hear their perspective.  Personally, I think it’s good to wrestle with things.  By that, it helps us to come to a better understanding and to develop stronger and more personal convictions.

For example, drinking a beer.  I can go by my upbringing to believe that one sip will send you straight to hell.  On the other hand, many people that I know and admire believe that enjoying a cold one is perfectly okay and not have an issue.  So, I pray for discernment.  I read my Bible and search for applicable passages.  I listen to both ends of the spectrum.  Then, I develop my own personal conviction.

Ok, so here is what I am wrestling with today (No, it’s not beer).  When Jesus spoke the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6, He said ‘This then is how you should pray’.  Does that mean that I am supposed to pray those words, or does it mean that I’m supposed to pray according to the manner in which He used?  My wrestling match is not so much in regard to The Lord’s Prayer but praying prayers that were written by other people and reading them, as to be my prayer.  My struggle is with my desire to be spontaneous.  I want to pray what is in my mind and on my heart.  A written prayer by someone else does not seem personal, and even quite sterile.

I would love to have you sound off and give me your personal perspective…

6 thoughts on “Praying

  1. I’ve struggled with this too and read another Pastor’s blog post that said sometimes we don’t know what to pray and reading someone’s else’s prayer can be a start to opening up my heart and mind to God.

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  2. Here are some thoughts that come to mind:
    1. “This is how…” shows that Jesus was giving us a pattern, an example.

    2. Jesus himself prayed but didn’t seem to repeat this example over and over in recorded Scripture.

    3. We are told to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” Eph. 6:18

    4. However, sometimes written prayers could say what we mean in a way that seems perfect. In a sense, like picking out the perfect birthday/anniversary/sympathy/thank you card. We look for someone else’s words that adequately reflects our heart. Typically, in that case, I add more of my own thoughts because I want it to be very personal.

    5. Prayer is like talking to our most intimate and respected relationship. If I use others’ thoughts or words, it should be a sprinkling, like a card. The Father wants us to speak from our heart to his. Our love is what He desires most. If I speak to my husband by reading what others say consistently, our relationship would not deepen very much. He would rather hear my heart than someone else’s.

    So, there is a place for both written prayers as well as spontaneous, in my opinion; all kinds have their place. But they should all be taking a step closer to God from a heart of love.

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