How to Pray Better: 2 Prayer-Altering Thoughts

Keith KettenringChristian Living, Prayer & Fasting, The Uncommon Journey

Do you struggle with prayer? I think I can help. I’ve devoted my life to prayer. God has given me the gift of time to pray. I take advantage of my inner “morning person” to pray. Lots of people have helped me to pray. It’s my life’s aim to learn how to commune with God in prayer in everyday life. I love to pray. But, believe me, it hasn’t always been this way.

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Learning to Pray is a Journey 

I only bring up my current prayer situation to illustrate a change in attitude towards prayer that can happen to anyone who desires it and intentionally does something with that desire. I am not boasting or being unduly pious. I am just writing out of my own experience.

I used to dismiss prayer as a waste of time. I used to read books on prayer thinking that would make me a better “pray-er.” I’d preach on it but have little experience of it. When I started exploring prayer, I developed detailed plans on how I was going to do it. But, it’s taken me a couple decades to figure out that my approach to prayer has been too self-directed and messy. I was making it harder on myself than it needed to be. Can you relate?

I now recognize that the way you learn to pray is to pray. Start where you are and go from there.

Two Prayer-Altering Thoughts 

Take these with you as you pray:

  1. Prayer is simple. It is communion with God. So, just show up. Be with God. Prayer is about spending time in relationship with the Trinity. You don’t have to prepare a good speech or a list of things to say. You don’t have to clean yourself up. You don’t need books or devotional writings. The Father, Son, and Spirit await your arrival. Simply give them your time and attention.
  2. Prayer is love. It is experiencing God’s love. It is loving God in return. St. Augustine says: “True, whole prayer is nothing but love.” Richard Foster writes: “True prayer comes not from gritting our teeth but from falling in love.” Genuine prayer is living in God’s love – nothing more, nothing less.

If you don’t like prayer because you’ve made it too complicated, clear the deck. Start over. Begin with simplicity then develop other aspects of prayer later.

If you don’t like prayer because you question God’s love, think that He doesn’t like you all that much or doesn’t want to spend time with you, then show up and see what happens. It won’t be as bad as you might think. You may very well experience God’s love even when you are unsure of it.

What’s your “take away” from this post? Share below. And share this post with others. 

Dr. K