Apparently there’s a right way of praying. A few weeks ago I was visiting my uncle’s home. The TV was on and turned onto an evangelical channel that my aunt was watching. I happened to overhear an ad for a book that teaches the correct way of praying. According to this advert the way most people pray is wrong and so the prayers don’t reach God. Sounded a bit like prayers were like signals and these were getting blocked by some unknown interference. Well, whatever it was, this book lets you in on the secret: the way to pray so that God receives your prayer and it doesn’t get lost somewhere along the way. I was rather taken aback when I heard the ad and even though I first heard it three weeks ago it still irks me. I now wish that I had tried to find out a little more about it; I will admit to being curious, but indignation won. I couldn’t imagine that God doesn’t hear my prayers. Quite frankly, I was offended that anyone would be so daft as to think that anything could block a prayer reaching Him who knows everything about us whether we tell him or not. We are talking about God, all knowing and all seeing, after all! I’ve always believed in the power of prayer.
“Jesus said, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh recieveth; and he that seeketh findeth: and to him that knocketh it shall be opened… And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, ye shall receive (Mathew 7:7-8; 21:22).’”
Now, I haven’t read the Bible from cover to cover but I’ve never before heard or read that there’s a wrong way to go about it. As a child I prayed with my parents every night before bed. My father and I would kneel side by side, prop our elbows on my bed and say ‘Our Father’ together and end by asking God to bless family and friends and thanking Him for everything. For many years when I prayed that was what I did. In my teenage years I started to develop a relation with Jesus. After saying ‘Our Father’ I would tell Jesus what was worrying me and ask him to help me solve problems, clear obstacles. More recently I’ve been praying for a job. As a recent graduate that’s hardly surprising, and though there have been times I’ve wanted to scream with frustration after praying I’ve always felt much better.
When I pray I speak as I would to someone who is a cross between my best friend and an older brother, one with wisdom, compassion and the ability to help me with anything and everything. My prayers don’t always happen at night before I’m going to bed, while I’m kneeling with my elbows resting on my bed. I pray all the time. Sometimes it’s for help and sometimes it’s just a quick ‘Thank You’ for a cool morning after weeks of heat with the temperatures soaring to almost 40° Celsius. It’s like having God on speed dial, but better because I don’t have to wait for him to pick up the phone because I know He’s listening as soon as I start.
My uncle, the one I went to visit last month, told me that I should pray about specific things. I used to be rather vague in my prayers, but since I’ve started being more focused I feel like I have a better relationship with God. I don’t think that there’s any one right way to pray and that different ways suit different people. All I know is that chatting; confiding and even gossiping a little to Him is how I pray and so far it’s been working out great!
© 2012 Zara Ramaniah, Ropra Ivy