Thinking Out Loud

December 17, 2010

A Prayer Experiment

In the last couple of days, I’ve been given reason to question my personal relationship to prayer.

We pray together as a family each night, and I am in touch with God many times throughout the day, and while I would hardly characterize it as “without ceasing,” there is definitely an ongoing conversation taking place.   And I am more than willing to pray with people at my job on a moment’s notice; “praying on a dime,” I call it.

I’ve been reading a lot lately about prayer and feel that this is one area of my Christian life that while it exists in measurable quantity, it is seriously lacking in other ways.

For example, I’ve never been big on prayer meetings. I’ve been reading lately about the way God intends for us to bring our needs to him corporately; and in fact I’ve been challenged on this subject three different ways in the last 48 hours. It’s been a long time since I’ve prayed with people outside the family in any significant way, or for any significant length of time.  What I’m reading is that God meets us in special ways when we take those opportunities.

In the middle of all this I’ve been thinking about something else…

God wants me to pour out my heart to him, but sometimes I feel like I can’t find the words. Yet there is another place in my life where I am never at a loss for words — at my computer.

So I’ve been thinking about writing e-mails to God. (If the concept grates on you somehow, think instead of drafting a written prayer in a Word document.)

This is something anybody reading this right now can do, because you’re all online to read this which means 99% of you probably have e-mail. And you probably write many — perhaps dozens — of e-mails and/or Facebook status updates and/or Tweets every single day.   Some of which consume time and energy but are very trivial.

So why not pour out your heart to God in an e-mail?

(You could address it to yourself if you feel the need to actually hit the “send” button, or save it as a draft when you’re done, or simply read it over a few times and then delete it. Just don’t type “God” in the “To” field or your auto-complete might just send it to your good friend Godfrey Smith, or your sister’s daughter who you have tagged as “Godchild.”)

Writing an e-mail is the most natural form of communication known to many of us, and usually the words flow without hesitation. It’s also a great way of organizing your thoughts.

And don’t think for a minute that God isn’t “hearing” that kind of prayer. Or that He can’t. Or that it counts less because you didn’t verbalize it audibly.

Willing to join me in a prayer experiment?

ooooooo

~This article originally appeared yesterday at Christianity 201~

2 Comments »

  1. How timely. On Wednesday night at Bible Study, after we worshiped, it was announced that we would be dividing into groups of 12 or so all over the sanctuary to pray for our church and our nation and each other. Would you believe that a voice within me actually suggested that maybe I could duck out and finish my shopping since there wasn’t actually a Bible study that night! I had my coat bundled up beside me for a fast grab and then I stopped. I rebuked the thought and embraced the truth I knew, that corporate prayer works wonders. I stayed and prayed and felt so much stronger for having listened to the “still small voice”. At times like this I understand that Christian life is a battle, not because we are tearing down strongholds and rebellions without, but within!

    Comment by Cynthia — December 17, 2010 @ 10:28 am

  2. i’m down, paul. count me in (i’ll be eager to hear about your “findings”).

    Comment by randy morgan — December 17, 2010 @ 10:32 pm


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