Prayer–Slow Down and Listen

“Most conversations are a monologue with witnesses.” (Attributed to Mark Twain.)

Is your prayer life like that?

Yesterday I wrote about meditation and contemplation. The foundation of both is to slow down our busy brains and focus. The direct or indirect focus is on God.

Jesus showed his followers an example at the Temple one time. There was a religious man standing in a conspicuous place praying loudly so as to assure that everyone knew that he was a religious man praying. Then there was a “sinner” who was kneeling alone apart from others, praying. Jesus said that those who pray with many fine words get their reward there. The other man got his reward from God.

Even if you don’t practice daily meditation or contemplation in the strict sense of the words, it pays great dividends to pause and sit quietly between all the words you say.

It’s not that it’s wrong to pray in words. Or to pray publicly when the occasion warrants. But as a daily practice, praying with no more words than necessary to the One who knows already what’s on your heart is much more freeing. Then to stop and listen heaps benefits upon the soul.

Often when I pray alone, I sit in silence and just picture the person or situation in my mind and focus my energy and attention on them. My heavenly Father knows. I’m just adding my spirit. Focusing on others.

It’s OK to focus on yourself, too. Just not exclusively. Once again a friend told me of the power that has come to him simply by praying that God lead someone into his life. Trust me, it’s uncanny.

I can think back over the past years of my life and identify many times when God eventually answered my prayers-usually when he knew I was ready and that the proper opportunity was presented.

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