“Prayer is the application of the heart to God and the internal exercise of love.”
~Madame Guyon (1648–1717)
Many people have ill-conceived notions on how to pray, and when, and so forth. As the Presence of God is entirely present, so too is the opportunity to pray. Prayer is simple and is best left simple. And prayer is not just talking, it’s listening too.
But still there is a deep mystery surrounding prayer.
People unconsciously avoid it, ever wanting to master it, but may be too wary and too afraid of failing. But prayer is so easy, requiring nothing of us but our strict yet malleable surrender, we miss its simplicity. And we judge ourselves, also unconsciously, as being ill-devoted.
One Easy Illustration Of Praying In Everyday Life
I find God speaks to me, which is just as much a mode of prayer than me speaking to him, most when I am mobile.
When I walk God talks to me and I often talk back. When I ride the train God speaks to me and I write down those ideas. Often when I ride my bike God drops a word into my heart or between my ears. (God doesn’t speak to me audibly.)
This form of prayer, of course, is revelation.
Now revelation is one of those things that seems easy, but is, in fact, hard. It needs to be nurtured. God will not force his way into our lives. We must seek him. We must desire him. We must live for him.
When God alone commands our attentions his revelation becomes natural discourse.
So, for me, mobility is the key to hearing God’s voice as it resounds via the manifestations within my life, and within the lives of others that I observe.
Nurturing The Experience Of God’s Revelation
Learning to hear God in our day-to-day, walking and talking lives is about giving our hearts to God, as implied above, as well as learning to receive God’s love and truth. That is, resting in the glorious knowledge that we, alone and collectively, are beloved.
Holding both of these in tension—giving our hearts to God and receiving God’s love and truth—is a sure and certain way of praying in an everyday way.
Revelation is the key to prayer given that prayer is a conversation, and no conversations take place with only one entity talking. We must be able to hear God; this is the start of a good prayer life.
Prayer is conversation with God. More important than talking is listening. Receiving God’s revelation is receiving his love and truth. This keeps us on the straight path. Our conversing with God should never cease.
Giving our hearts to God in prayer,
Is just as much receiving his care.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.