GodReflection: Silent God—Seeking His Voice
Let me begin with my conclusion. There is probably not a wrong way to pray if my heart is tuned-in with God’s.
Between my first childhood prayer—far gone from my memory bank—and the above statement there is a lot of ground to explore.
Surely, there is more to prayer than the little prayers of self-interest I raise to God. I anticipate deeper wells to dig than the ones of my current awareness.
Prayer must be more comprehensive than the shallow utterances spoken far too often when the church assembles. I suspect prayer is meant for more than “Help the sick to get well”. Even though I assume it is always legitimate to ask God’s mercy on those who suffer.
Too often I’ve prayed little prayers. I’ve prayed to pass exams when maybe I should have studied.
I’ve prayed for safety on a trip then set the cruise control above the posted speed.
I’ve prayed for parking spaces and I’ve prayed for success in this endeavor or that.
Since I am blessed to eat three times daily, not to mention other routine snacks, coffee, ice tea, soft drinks, and ice water without limit, my “thank you for this food” prayers feel rather shallow. I’ve never know hunger or thirst.
Because God loves me I know He likes to see good gifts come my way but I can’t help but think that most of the above is little more than kindergarten prayers.
The prophet Daniel had the custom of getting down on his knees three times each day to talk with God.
Jesus visited places of silence when he felt drawn to converse with the Father.
As Paul wrote from prison cells his prayers would break into his thoughts and with his feather writing piece in hand he would record his petitions and praise to the Father.
Maybe the key to praying right is nothing more than keeping my heart aligned with God 24/7.
As I write I notice a pair of doves and a bright red cardinal splashing in the birdbath just on the other side of my office window.
They pause only long enough to hop over to the seed tray for breakfast. “Thank you God for the beauty of your creation”.
The name of a young lady I’ve never met comes and goes in my mind since her double lung transplant last week. Her condition is serious. “God be with Mandy today. Heal her. Give her family peace.”
The name of a life-long friend is brought to consciousness multiple time daily. His beautiful wife, a loving mother and a spirit-led Jesus follower, has died of terminal cancer. “God stand beside Duane and his family as they trust your Holiness”.
As I hear local, national, and international news today, I will hear stories of chaos, death, destruction, upheaval, and war. Will I remember to invite God into the mess, and let Him know that I trust His healing hand is available, in spite of contrary evidence presented by the media.
While writing this a window washer came to wash the dirt and grime from my windows.
In our conversation he lets me know he has no interest in God but what has his attention is Star Wars.
It happened to be a big calendar for Star Wars fans. (“May the 4th be with you”). He could not wait to get off work to use the remainder of his day and night watching old Star War movies. “God get this young man’s attention. Help him to see there is a saving power greater than the Star Wars’ force”.
Isn’t all of this prayer? I didn’t go into a closet. I didn’t close my eyes. I didn’t kneel to the ground. I didn’t bow my head. I said nothing in audible words. Yet, I made an attempt to live with a heart aligned with God’s desire for goodness to reign over His creation.
I know that I have a long way to go to learn to converse with Creator God. Yet, maybe, just maybe, I’m not praying totally wrong?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on Am I Praying Wrong?