Pastor John Murtha accompanied by David Abood, Managing Director of Renaissance Capital Partners, invited me to his weekly premier Christian talk radio program, “The Gospel according to John”. We were slated to discuss the neurobiology of double mindedness but David, always the rebel, started with the question, “How do you pray?”
The Power of Prayer
There are many ways to address that question, so please listen in and let me know what you think about our discussion. Please allow me to share a few thoughts you may find helpful:
Awareness of God
The purpose of prayer is to develop and sustain your moment-to-moment living awareness of God.
- We are told to “pray continuously”. I don’t believe that this is a call to repeat “the Lord’s Prayer” over and over again every moment of your life. I believe it is a way of experiencing life where your “sense of self” has been replaced by your sense of being a “child of God”.
- Every moment you do your best to see and hear others from God’s point of view. No matter their color, creed, sex or background; friend or stranger, you see and respond to everyone as a part of God’s creation.
- You take in new information in a balanced way, always looking for what God wants you to take in and what he wants you to refine.
- You do your best to align your thoughts in a way that seems appropriate to God’s will.
- You do your best guide each of your senses to look for and see as God directs you.
There are many different prayer traditions and neurobiological studies seem to indicate that people don’t respond the same way to any one type of praying.
- Although intensity and duration of prayer affect the amount and duration of helpful brain changes, you may need to find the type of prayer that works best for you.
- Although you stand firmly on your dynamic spiritual belief, you can be more flexible in the ways you pray.
How You Begin Your Day
The way you begin your day is often the way you will enter each moment for the rest of that day. Psalm 118:24
- Morning prayers allow you to “remember who you are”.
- Setting specific goals each morning that help you to bring God into each of your relationships a little more that day emphasize God’s purpose in your life.
- Journaling what you learned (or writing a book!) each night can help you solidify each day’s gains.
More Prayer Suggestions
Choice of music can allow your “prayer life” to play in the background of your mind throughout the day.
Having a “sacred space” in your home can help you to sense your relationship with God more deeply and more easily throughout the day.
Sharing your prayer life with family and loved ones intensifies the commitment to God’s will for that relationship.
Corporate prayer with a community of believers connects you to God’s will for the greater good and establishes a place to go when specific relationships struggle.
Prayer that includes sacred texts like the Bible give you direct access to tenets of faith that have endured for thousands of years.
Prayer provides resilience, predictability and much needed answers. Faith, without prayer, can be very confusing. To say you believe, and yet not act on what you say you believe, can leave you “driving blind” particularly in longer, deeper relationships and in challenging times.
Prayer helps you to understand your belief and how to apply it to your life. It connects you, your strengths and your decisions more deeply to others and the greater good. It changes your day to day life from “black and white” to “color”. It changes brief periods of happiness into joy. It allows you to break through the confusing mist of negativity and judgement to clear your way to “the peace that passes all understanding”.
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