Friday, April 2, 2010

Avoiding prayer for all we're worth: Tools Part 1

At the end of the last post, I promised that I would share some prayer tools with you. Because I find it hard to pray for more than a few seconds without losing focus, I have gone searching for these tools. Most people won't comment here, but I here via email and word of mouth that I am not alone in this struggle. And so, I will spend my next few posts striving to give you a few simple ideas and tools that may help you to pray.

(I believe that the best praying happens when we are together, praying as the church. I won't tackle that here, but will refer to it when I write about prayer books.)

For this first entry, I'll speak about place, posture/position and disposition.

We need a place to pray where we can feel alone and uninhibited. We need to have a prayer place. Jesus spoke of "going to your closet" to pray. No matter the fancy definitions of "closet" we may read, the point is that we must have a private place to go and pray. I can't find that for you. You'll need to work on that. Examples might be a garage, a separate room in the house or at work. When my children were young, I used to sit in the room with them with my head under a blanket. They knew to leave me alone when I "went" there.

I find that the posture, or position I take when I pray is important. I do not have any one single posture that I employ. However, I find that my body position is important. Why? We are not merely "spiritual" creatures. We are physical. God is saving us body and soul. There are times when I pray in my bed (the Psalmist speaks of this). There are times I kneel with my face up, and other times when my face is to the floor. There are times when I stand with my arms held in a receiving position, and other times when I sit quietly, with my hands cupped or folded on my lap.

These will make more sense when I go further into these elementary lessons.

So the first tools that I can give you, are to find a place and experiment with posture. I believe you will find it natural to know when to kneel, or sit or stand.

Perhaps it is even more important to speak of disposition. There is nothing more important in the process of prayer than humility. Think of effective prayers in scripture--when people pleaded with Jesus--and you will be thinking of humble entreaties. The thief on the cross, the woman with the issue of blood, the blind man beside the road, the father who's son was thrown into fires by demons, the synagogue ruler who's daughter was at home dying--then dead. Desperate humility typifies those who pray effectively. We too must have God's blessing, and we pray best when we humbly seek it.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have time to write some more specific prayer tools. If not then, I will in the next few days. I am excited to share some stuff that is really helping me. Today, I enjoyed a few hours of prayer. He is worthy of our pursuit!

Peace to you.

1 comment:

Zee said...

thanks for sharing, David.

i had to chuckle when i read the part about "place"... i have found that the best place for me to pray is...shower. it is there that i am not distracted by books (that are literally everywhere else in my apartment) or my computer and my blog (or other's blogs)... otherwise, of course when i travel somewhere out of Kyiv it is easier to find a place where God and i can be alone.

i can only imagine you with a blanket over your head and Alyssa and Paul tip-toeing around their dad :D