Thursday, 2 August 2012

How could you improve your prayer life?

I've come to a bit of a grinding halt with this one. I've thought long and hard about what I could do to change and improve. Each time I get stuck though, and for one very good reason. I'm genuinely happy with the way it is. It works; I don't know how to improve it, or even if it needs improved.

I need to point out that in no way do I think I'm perfect or that I have everything sorted. That's not the case at all. I just feel like I have something that works for me right now. I'm not what you would consider a big prayer type in the traditional sense. No "Now I lay me down to sleep" sounding things coming from me. I'm more of a chatty, casual conversation type. Imagine if you were talking things over with a close friend over a cuppa. That image is more accurate. Comfortable, close and informal.

Sometimes there doesn't even have to be words. Like that silence that falls between two friends that isn't in any way awkward. You both know what the other is thinking or feeling but neither feel the need to express it. Yet you both know. It's hard to describe, but it's like a gentle meandering through my thoughts and God is invited in to listen. I don't really feel the need to ask for things or request help. God knows what I want, and most importantly what I need, often before I do. Why tell someone what they already know? The most I need to do is quietly acknowledge it in gentle conversation. I don't feel the need to pile on the formal gratitude either. God knows that the contented sighs and peaceful smiles are filled with thankfulness. I prefer my gladness to seep out of me for all the world and God to see.

Even though I love words, I can sometimes see how meaningless they become. Unfortunately I see this most often with liturgy in churches. Something memorised and repeated so often you forget what it means, forget what you're saying. It can be so noticeable too. You can really spot it in people. The wheel is moving but the hamster is long dead. So it comes down to action for me. To live out my happiness for God to rejoice in, dwell in my sadness so God can stop there too awhile. And like any relationship you see a lot more than can be communicated. You can't express a smile in any way other than to smile it. Why struggle to explain with words when you could just smile at them and have them know?

However with all this I am realistic. I understand that this is what works for me and God right now. But in a while it may not be and I may need to revisit this. I will change and grow as a person and as with all relationships when this happens, I will need to adapt, change and improve communication style to suit.

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