Thinking Out Loud

May 18, 2015

Praying Like Opposite George

Filed under: prayer — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:57 am

This jumps you into the middle of an article by Benjamin L. Corey at the blog Formerly Fundie, where he takes a fresh look at prayer. If it whets your appetite for more, click the link at the bottom.

Opposite GeorgeTake a season being Opposite George with your prayer life.

My favorite Seinfeld was the Opposite George episode  (which became a chapter in Christian Outsiders) where George started using his opposite instinct to make life choices. I’ve found this “opposite instinct” to actually be helpful for prayer life. Have you been approaching prayer in the same way since your childhood? Try doing the opposite for a season.

If you grew up in a highly structured, liturgical culture, try getting rid of all of the canned prayers you’re used to, and just talk to God from your heart. Or, if you grew up completely unstructured and find that’s not helpful right now, try adding structure to your prayer by trying either of the following: using a prayer book and praying prayers written in the book, or pick a Psalm and pray that particular verse as a personal prayer. If neither of those options ring your bell, you could even write out your own “life prayer” to ritualistically pray each morning. The key here is to try something different.

…continue reading Rediscovering Prayer When Your Prayer Life is Dead

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~

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