How do you talk to God? For me it doesn’t have to be formal; it doesn’t have to be on my knees although sometimes I’m led to kneel; it doesn’t have to be a certain time of day although at least daily is ideal; it doesn’t have to be with my legs crossed sitting still; it doesn’t have to be with my eyes closed and hands folded.
There are many formula for prayer. One includes confession, praise, petition for others, petition for self, thanks in anticipation of answered prayer. I am a Christian and there are many examples in the scriptures of communication between God and human beings. Much of the Bible contains prayers I have used to inspire my own prayer life including the Psalms written by David, and the model prayer Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 6: 9-13 known to many as The Lord’s Prayer; Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.
I have also been inspired from early in my life by beautiful Native American Indian prayers, Irish prayers, and meditation as a way to listen to God. Mostly I have been inspired by the character Tevya from the 1964 musical Fiddler on the Roof. In his work clothes Tevya talked to God any time of day that something was on his heart. He complained about his hard work. He was thankful for what he had but asked why he couldn’t have more. Tevya and God were in communication all throughout the day every day. That is what I have tried to do.
I have to admit there were times that I was angry at God and told him that. That’s okay. God can take it. but there were also times I was so angry I stopped speaking and stopped listening. But God always placed people and circumstances in my life that let me know God was always there. And God waited. And stayed. And waited.
One of the habits I developed early was to write down what I was feeling in a prayerful way. Soon these turned into letters to God. As I became an adult I lost that habit but not the Bible that contained the letters. Then, as time went on I lost that Bible. There was a time a simple medical procedure turned into extra discomfort and time in the hospital. It could have resulted in death. I was angry and couldn’t sleep. Then I got the idea to write a letter even though I didn’t know who to send it to who would help me get justice.
Just that act of writing to an unknown person calmed me down and made me able to sleep. I began to find peace and hope. Now I am back to writing letters to God. Some of them are just ramblings, some are worth sharing. You will find them here. Just writing them is cathartic to my sanity. I hope you find them inspirational.
- A Prayer in a Barren Season (thetestofthecross.wordpress.com)
- Sunday Sermon: Pray Without Ceasing (jimkane.wordpress.com)
- A Life Pleasing to God (simpleme2.wordpress.com)