Some inspiring thoughts on prayer from Becca Taylor. She's called it "How to get started in prayer" but there is wisdom here that can help all of us go deep in our prayer conversations with God.
How to get started in prayer
I’m a Mum. On 5th October 2012 I gave birth to my first daughter and, like so many others, the experience of becoming a mother changed me in all sorts of ways. It changed how I see God, how I see church, how I see life and friendship and priorities and time and prayer.
So often I look at myself and feel as if I haven’t done enough, been enough or come up to scratch when it comes to my prayer life. It’s easy to slip into beating myself up about the lack of praying I do.
There’s just one thing that stops me:
Jesus said: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
Jesus wanted the children, in all their immaturity and childishness to come to him. He goes on to say that we must become like little children if we want to enter the kingdom of God. When I pray He wants me to come as a child, in my unfinished, unpolished, imperfect and immature way.
My youngest daughter is 17 months old, she has the most charming cheeky little smile and she is picking up words left, right and center. I love hearing her learn new words and new ways of expressing herself. Often I will try to get her to repeat the funny things she says or does over and over to my husband or friends or family members. I delight in her communication. I delight in it even if to anybody else her words sound like gobbledygook. I delight in her funny little facial expressions and her mispronounced words and her pride when she makes herself understood.
I think God’s like that, a proud parent, delighted when his children learn to communicate with him, even if it sounds like gobbledygook to anyone else. So I’ve given up on condemning myself over prayer. Instead, I choose to picture myself in the place of my daughters, reaching out to the perfect parent, Father God, offering whatever I have to give right now in the very moment I find myself in. Sometimes that looks like a chilled time of prayer sitting on my bed, offering my day to God, other times it looks like a letter I write to Him. More often it sounds like “ God give me patience” through gritted teeth as I muster every ounce of self-control to stop myself being harsh with my toddler. Some days it looks like a list of thank yous, offered up over hours, or a prayer typed into whatsapp in response to a friend’s request or a plea of mercy in response to yet another crisis in the news. And other days it’s a repentant sorry I’ve finally whispered after swallowing my pride and allowing the Holy Spirit to convict me.
Prayer is diverse and organic and real. It changes from day to day and season to season. That’s ok. Actually it’s good.
The point is not so much how or what or where we pray. It’s this: Father God invites us into his presence when we make ourselves like little children and just come to Him with whatever prayer we can offer. He welcomes us with arms wide open and whispers to us “you’re welcome here. I love your prayers. I hear you and I have a place for you in my heart.”
And so, with that in mind, let’s draw near to God, however we find works right now, in the various life circumstances we find ourselves living. Let’s offer up sorrys and thank yous and pleases with sincerity and open hearts. And let’s enjoy God’s delight in us as we learn to communicate with Him.