Prayer, what is it? We can all give simple definitions to define this simple word. In Christian terms, in them most simple sense it is speaking to God. A lot of people do it many different ways. They have developed systems for prayer. They pray silently, out loud, by themselves, with a partner, in a group. I'm not going to say any of these things are better than any of the others, but I really want to examine how we really pray.
This post is not to call anybody out, but challenge people in general. We have chapel every day on campus around 11:10 and Wednesdays are usually community prayer. I noticed something that made me recall something I read in a book recently and made me really start thinking. How often, especially during corporate prayer, do we simply speak to each other? After vocalizing a prayer myself, I later thought about what I had said. "For so and so that they may this and that." I realized in that moment, that I had not spoken to God, but I was simply vocalizing a "prayer request" to my peers. How often do we do this? We speak prayer requests, instead of actually praying them by taking them to God.
Now, I'm not criticizing structured prayer. That's not my intent either. I could have easily turned the vocalized request into a prayer by saying "For so and so that You would this and that." That way, I would be addressing God instead of those around me. I wonder if that causes a loss of power to our prayers: the fact that sometimes we don't actually pray. How closer would I draw to God if through my prayer, I addressed Him instead of listing off my desires?
Lord, I desire to have a more intimate relationship with you. Help me to speak my heart to you instead of simply making known to others what I desire from you. Thank you Lord, Amen.