When you cannot pray as you would, pray as you can. Edward M. Goulburn
For many of us there are two categories of prayer Ritualistic and Spontaneous prayers. Most of us are well trained and deeply ingrained in the ritualistic aspects of prayer simply because that is one way to impart religious beliefs and training. It is imperative to highlight the fact that ritualistic prayer also fulfils a deep need for even the uninitiated to connect with GOD and spares people the agony of wondering how to reach out to GOD. Most times ritualistic prayers are said in the confines of a place of worship or in a formal setting at home or chanted at fixed times and specified days. There are ritualistic prayers designed to cover every situation, every eventuality and there are generic prayers to cover the unanticipated too. There are a large number of us who use prayer as a balm to soothe nerves, tranquilizers to dull pain within and believe prayer will be the right vaccine to keep at bay the evils of this world. There is no doubt that prayer often gives these results too but such prayers are a poor substitute for a free and spontaneous communication with GOD.
Spontaneous prayers are those that are said from the heart with faith and gratefulness. There are no set rules for such prayers but it is free flowing, often rambling but definitely original and heartfelt. There are no particular reasons for such prayers but it often transpires that such prayers are a prelude to some important events or are prayers of thanksgiving for favors received. Spontaneous prayers also take on the garb of desperate prayers which are said when one is in dire need and in a hopeless situation. Spontaneous prayers are often resorted to in any situation, in any place and for any need or thanksgiving. Off and on we also endorse spontaneous prayer in a formal set up like in a place of worship. Most spontaneous prayers are self centered and revolve around ensuring that the person saying the prayer is comforted. E.g. We may pray for the good results of a family member but in reality we are seeking peace of mind from the good results.
Real prayer is communication with GOD where we share all our feelings, our problems, our joys and happiness. Irrespective of whether it is ritualistic or spontaneous real prayer is said straight from the heart and need not be loudly articulated or dramatically proclaimed. In fact the power of prayer arises from the depth of the faith and honesty that accompanies it. Most times our prayers are perceived to be unheard simply because we never stop to listen to GOD’s responses in our hearts. God actually whispers his acknowledgement of our prayers but we persist in seeking tangible evidence of GODs response.
Perfect prayer though is in doing our duty and a little more for it is in sharing, caring and sacrificing that we are blessed with a GOD experience. It is our thoughts words and deeds that actually stand testimony to the prayers we offer. The truly blessed are those who only ask GOD for strength, wisdom and health to carry on zealously with their duty be it at their work place, their homes or in society at large. We need not sing paeans to God nor build mammoth edifices to glorify GOD but simply do our bit to help our fellowmen and GOD hears our prayers booming loud and clear.
Remember: “It is in vain to expect our prayers to be heard, if we do not strive as well as pray.”
- Read these modern prayers that are non denominational and yet easily identifiable by all those reading it. These prayers are in a lighter vein but reflect the present day mindset and need.Computer Prayers
- Attempt to LISTEN to GOD when you pray next time. Silence is the best prayer for then you don’t have to say anything and yet there will be plenty said to you. List 3 people who you would like to pray for who are not part of your family or not known to you intimately. What will you pray they be blessed with? E.g. The security guard at the ATM because you overheard him saying he will lose his job soon.
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