Prayer…it can be such an integral part of our lives. I know for me, prayer is a vital life line. It allows me to hand over my fears…frustrations…disappointments…concerns…as well as all that I am thankful for.
We learn many formal prayers….”The Lord’s Prayer”….”The Glory Be”…as Catholics, many more are learned…”The Hail Mary”…”The Apostles Creed”…”The Divine Praises”… I am sure several others have come to your mind.
We also learn to pray informally. We are often told to use “The Lord’s Prayer” as a template for our own prayers…we are encouraged to use our own words…to speak to God as if he was in the room for us…like we would speak to a friend.
Often we can find ourselves in a rut…saying similar words as if by rote…going through the motions…not really allowing ourselves to open up and speak with our hearts not just our minds.
Many of us were taught the following pattern for prayer (referred to as A.C.T.S.):
Adoration – “Praise be to God!” -Psalms 68:35
Tell God how much you appreciate Him.
Confession – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” -1 John 1:9
Tell Him where you have fallen short. Be as specific as possible.
Thanksgiving – Always “glorify him with thanksgiving” -Psalms 69:30
Thank God for His love, His faithfulness, His patience…express gratitude to Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
Supplication – “Make your requests known to God.” -Philippians 4:6
Tell God what is on your mind…whether it be for yourself…a family member…a friend…you can also just speak thoughts that you are having.
I know that I often pray informally…yet there are many times…especially when Fibro Fog is thick…or my mind is wandering all over…I find comfort in reciting one of the formal prayers…even if I cannot get all the words correct…it helps me to relax…to shift my focus.
Our Heavenly Father knows our hearts…He knows our needs…He wants us to commune with Him. Whatever type of prayer…as long as it is from the heart…will be heard.