“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God”
This is the starting point for all prayer. Dom Chapman puts it this way,
“Pray as you can, not as you can’t”
We do not have to sort ourselves out before we pray. Nor do we need to compose good literary and theological prayers. In prayer we open our hearts to God and pour out to Him all that is within.
We all have a tangled mass of motives. Some will be good, some not so good and some even frightening! However, and this is important, just as by God’s grace we can live imperfectly, so by His grace we can pray imperfectly as well. God receives us as we are and our prayers just as they are.
That does not mean that He will agree with all that we say or grant all our requests. However He will hear and receive them and allow the conversation to start and proceed from there. He will not ignore us, shout us down or belittle us.
As we continue and grow in relationship with Him our prayers will change. We will find great comfort in being able to tell the Lord exactly how we feel about ourselves, Him or anyone or anything else. We may no longer ask Him to ‘slaughter our enemies’ but rather to love and heal them! This change will happen not because we have become more theologically correct but because we are being transformed by the love and presence of God. (Many of our motives will still continue to be mixed)
This Simple Prayer is all about everyday people bringing everyday concerns to a loving and caring Father. Jesus opened this door for us when He taught us to pray for our ‘daily bread’ – that is for all the things that we need and which feed and heal us in body, mind and spirit.
C.S. Lewis wrote, ‘Lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us.” So begin where you are. That is the only place where God can bless you – for that is the only place where you are.
Take time now to tell God how you are and how you feel
Father You are here with me – and it is so good to know that you watch and hear and understand me. There are times when I feel so inadequate and unattractive as a person. Thank You for loving and accepting and cherishing me just as I am right now. Amen.
(Photo: (c) Catherine Bondonno)