Author: Colleen Tolan
This past week I have been trying to practice prayer. Like really practice it. So often we take prayer requests or hear “praying for you” but I know that if you’re like me, only about 50% of those times we actually go to God in secret and pray. We’re busy and forgetful but also sometimes I think prayer can seem intimidating. Sometimes I’m not sure where to begin. Sometimes I wonder if what I am praying about God even cares about. For years I thought that prayer had to being a certain way, sound a certain way, be postured a certain way. I thought prayer was essentially closing your eyes tight, bowing your head and asking God for a favor. But the scriptures tell us a different story.
In the Gospels Jesus tells us to “Ask and it will be given, seek and you will find” (Mt.7:7). We have to remember that prayer never begins with us, but always begins with an invitation from God. And with God’s invitation, prayer becomes our response. Just as communication is the lifeline of any relationship, prayer is the lifeline of our dwelling with God. John Calvin describes the posture of prayer as that of a little kid, who in knowing no boundaries climbs right up onto his parents lap peers into their eyes and asks in all begging honesty; This is how we are to approach the throne of Grace. With boldness and faith in shouts of joy or silence of heartache. There in this space of prayer, God is faithful to answer us and make us new. What great gift.
“Prayer is the act by which we divest ourselves of all false belongings and become free to belong free to belong to God and God alone.” Henri Nouwen
“Prayer is the breath of the soul, the organ by which we receive Christ in our parched and withered hearts.” O. Hallesby
“True whole prayer is nothing but love” St. Augustine