Prayer is simply a two-way conversation between you and God.
Prayer is very simple: you talk to God, you listen to God. It’s not much different really than talking to your best friend. The good news is God won’t blab what you say to anyone else! Prayer, like talking to your friend, is a chance for you to get out your fears and anxieties, your acheivements and joys. God wants us to talk to Him. “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3 NIV
Don’t forget that God will talk to you, too. We need to remember not to do all the talking but to stop and listen for God’s voice. “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 NIV
“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”
I think that prayer doesn’t so much change God’s mind, but rather our hearts. The Spirit guides our prayer and brings us closer to God through our prayers. But don’t forget the story of Abraham in Genesis 18:16 – 33 where God did listen to Abraham’s plea for the lives of the righteous people in Sodom. God has chosen to listen to us and include us in His work.
Remember, you can pray anywhere. You don’t have to be down on your knees with your eyes closed. You don’t have to talk with flowery language and “thy’s” and “thine’s”, just tell God what you feel, what’s on your heart and listen for Him. It is unlikely that you’ll hear a voice speak to you, but God can speak to you in many ways. Give Him a chance.
The following does not reflect my prayers necessarily but I think it is such a beautiful prayer that I wanted to include it. If only we could live this out every day!
“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”
― St. Francis of Assisi