Meaningful Prayer

by | Mar 3, 2024 | 2024, Musings | 0 comments

Almost every child that I have ever had the privilege to hear pray, starts their prayer with, “Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this day…” Somewhere down the line, they have heard adults pray and now they are patterning their communication with God with an unconscientious mimic of the adults’ prayers.

Imagine that you and your best friend head off for a road trip. Let’s say you are going to be gone 8 days and that 3 or 4 of those days are traveling in the car. What would your dialogue be like? Would you start every new conversation with these words, “Good morning, friend, did you sleep well?”

That would be great for the first conversation of the day, but not after they change the radio station, or run into the market for snacks or when they launch into a diatribe about the historical marker you just passed. Real communication is set in a real context. It relates to what is going on. And if the friendship is a deep one, it reveals more and more about your thoughts, feelings and challenges.

So why doesn’t our communication with the Lord reflect that same kind of friendship? Why do we keep using rote phrases and “spiritual” sounding words rather than expressing the reality of the moment?

One short answer is, because we don’t have great models to follow. Like the rote “opening” to the children’s prayer, we too have turned off our minds and just start our prayers out of habit.

Maybe this is a great time to think while we pray. Let’s address our Lord in a multitude of ways. “Dear Heavenly Father” is a great way to address God, but so is “Lord,” or “Jesus,” or “Spirit,” or “Almighty God,” or “Lord of the universe,” or, or, or.

And once we have addressed Him, let’s remember to pray for significant things like Godly wisdom, fresh revelations from His Word and for knowledge to be applied. God isn’t a vending machine, and we shouldn’t constantly pray with the same phrases hoping our choice “drops down into the tray.”

Sometimes the circumstances call for an immediate audience with the Lord and the only word we can think to use is “help!” Other times, our situation allows us to carry on a full conversation with Him, revealing our thinking on the matter and to wait to hear back from Him.

In every case, let’s turn our minds ON while we avail ourselves of the incredible gift of prayer. Let’s pray with our eyes wide open anticipating a wonderful fresh perspective. Let’s pray with power and determination as we connect with the Creator of the universe.