What Happens When We Pray?
I've been thinking about prayer lately, and (like I do with most spiritual matters) I've let my thoughts lead me to wonder, and my wondering to questions.
For instance, here's a question that I get asked a lot about prayer, and it's one that sometimes keeps me awake at night:
Why bother praying? If God is all-knowing and outside of time, then God already knows the outcome to all things. So what's the point of praying about it?
Good question, right? Or how about this one?
Why does it feel like some people's prayers get answered and mine don't? Is it my fault? Did I do something wrong?
The truth is, I don't have a lot of concrete answers on these kinds of questions about prayer. I struggle with them, just like anyone else.
But here's what I do know. When I pray, I feel something. And by "pray," I mean when I journal because journaling is a prayer to me. I have a hard time praying out loud, and I don't kneel beside my bed and fold my hands to pray--I'd just fall asleep.
Journaling is how I pray, but you might pray in other ways. Like through music, for example, or art. Or maybe you pray by hiking or walking and letting your thoughts carry you.
Whatever way you pray--this is what happens. You begin to learn more about who you are, and who God is to you. Suzanne Henley, who has written some amazing books on prayer and how it works, recently said this:
[Prayer] reveals who we are to ourselves. And that's where God often seems to set up shop. Each prayer, when genuine, is a birth a labored delivery of twins: both a new self and a new face of God.May you find moments today to offer your prayers in all of their infinite variety. And as you pray, may you discover the truth about who you truly are in God--a beloved child, loved, cherished, chosen.
May you see God in fresh new ways, all around you, in you and through you.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.