Posts Tagged ‘experience prayers’

The Experience of Prayer

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

Most of us know the experience of prayer. We may remember prayers taught to us in childhood. Prayers offered in our church communities may have meaning for us. Many of us can recall a time of pain, agony or despair when a prayer was pulled out of us with surprising strength: “Oh God, help me, help me!” or “Why, God, why?”

Often we remember times of great wonder during which we experienced God’s presence. A sunset, a piece of music, or a baby’s smile he]ps us to remember that God speaks to us in many ways if we are open and willing to see and to listen. When our hearts are touched by the wonder of God we often respond with words of gratitude or praise or simply an inner smile of joy.

We are all pray-ers; we know how to pray. But when we think about learning to pray we forget our experience and turn outside ourselves for answers and insights. The first step in exploring the life of prayer is to begin with the experiences that are uniquely ours.

How were you introduced to prayer? I was taught “Now I lay me down to sleep…” and the Lord’s Prayer. I do not remember learning them; I just remember always knowing them. I did not say my prayers regularly at bed time and our family did not have times of prayer together except at special meals when grace was offered by my father. We went to church as a family and I remember long and boring prayers from the minister. I was never taught about silent prayer, being quiet in God’s presence, or the fact that I could have an individual relationship with God. Exploring our childhood memories, the positive and negative, the instructions and the lack of teaching, helps to guide our adult prayer life.

What to do next? Submit your prayer requests in our Prayers Requests Site.