Shake it up baby
Are you a little shaky when it comes to your prayer life – maybe even terrified that someone will ask you to pray…out LOUD, in front of humans and everything? Yikes!! NO way Jose! Maybe no one has taken the time to show you how to pray, and it seems too scary. It’s okay. It’s not something everyone picks up just from listening to others pray. Everyone learns differently. And don’t worry…it’s really okay.
Let’s talk about what isn’t required for prayer, specifically in gatherings
- singing the prayer in a booming voice (Oh LORD…we have COMMMMMME here and gathereeeeeddd in your ho-ly and presssssh-us name) you get the idea. There’s nothing wrong with it as long as it’s sincere and from the heart. It’s just the style that some people choose and are comfortable with. But it isn’t necessary.
- speaking four and five syllable words to impress others. Forget about impressing others. We’re all a bunch of dorks on this earth anyway. And we sure aren’t going to finesse the socks off of God. He created coconut creme pie…my attempts at properly pronouncing words I rarely use is not going to top coconut creme pie.
- lengthy prayers. Hey..if you have a lot to pray about, that is excellent. But time and place counts. 20 minute prayers are not for the thanksgiving table while the gravy is coagulating into concrete. Plus it won’t sweeten the hearts of those not in the family of Christ. They’ll just be annoyed and pushed further from God. Keep it short at the right times and places.
- closing your eyes isn’t always necessary. It’s a sign of reverence but I never close my eyes when I’m driving and praying. I don’t have that much faith. 🙂
- praying for a certain length of time and at a certain time daily – some cultures and religions have this practice. There is nothing wrong with it if it’s sincere and from the heart. But God does not require it in any guidelines that I know of. If there are scriptures saying otherwise, I will be happy to recant.
- head bowed? No…not necessary. Again, it’s a sincere sign of reverence, but not required if the situation merits otherwise.
- prayers about private matters. Church or the dinner table; these aren’t the places to blast out confidential things you have been praying about for others. We have to respect our loved ones, right? Christ is loyal to us…we need to reflect that behavior. Confidential matters should be prayed about in your prayer closet (that means when you are alone)
- since we are talking about the prayer closet, that is a figurative term. You don’t have to go into an actual closet to pray. God just didn’t want us to take the actions that are supposed to honor Him, and go about trying to seen by men and make a big spectacle. (Heyyy Look what I’m doing)
But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. Matt 6:6 (NLT)
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Matt 6:6 (KJV)