How To Pray

by: Anthony Keith Whitehead

WHAT PRAYING IS NOT?
Many people cease-up when they think of prayer, especially prayer that they have to make up themselves. Just reading what someone has written down in a book of prayer is one thing, but having to approach God with one’s own words…
Praying is sometimes associated in people’s minds with “thee “‘s and “thine”‘s. Probably that is because many people immediately think of church and church services when they think of prayer. Certainly, in some liturgical churches there are prayers with this kind of language in them. Yet these kinds of words are neither necessary nor, in many respects, even desirable, especially in our own private prayer
WHAT PRAYING IS
For most people, talking to others is not a problem. But praying is essentially no more than talking. Yet, because it is talking to God, many people either get up tight about it or think they cannot do it properly. But there is really no proper way to pray. God wants us to approach him just as we are and where we are, as the unique individual he created us to be.
So praying is, in essence, no different to turning to a friend and communicating with him or her. In other words, praying is just simply talking to God as we are, as we are feeling at the moment, with all the problems we may have at that time — or, indeed, all the joy and gaiety we have in our heart at that moment.
WHAT GOD DOES NOT WANT
When we talk to God we need to approach him with sincerity. He does not want falseness of any kind. He does not want us to “put on a face”, pretend to be someone we are not, feign a disposition which does not come naturally to us at that time.
God does not want dishonesty from us. He does not want us pretending to be something we are not, with thoughts and feeling we do not really have.
WHAT GOD DOES WANT
Clearly, then , God wants us be ourselves, whatever that may mean at the time. He wants us to be open about where we are in our lives. He wants us to talk to him just as we would to our best friend, Or as we would to someone we have turned to for help, or even to someone with whom we want to share our elation at that time.
God not only understands us (even better than we understand ourselves), he knows exactly where we are and what we are feeling at every given moment. So it really is pointless to be anything but completely honest and straightforward with him. To do anything else is merely to kid ourselves!

About The Author

Anthony Keith Whitehead
Over twenty-three years in Christian healing teaching writing ministries. Wide range of secular employments before being called by the Lord into full time independent ministry in 1987. With his wife Iris he has ministered both in the UK and USA. Has written several books on healing meditation and various aspects of spirituality. Formal qualifications include: B.A. M.Phil. Cambridge University Certificate in Religious Studies Post Grad Cert in Education.
Web Site: http://www.christianword.co.uk

This article was posted on August 16, 2005