Prayer: What Is It Really? – by Gary Ellis

I’m not the latest, greatest “prayer guru.” However, I believe the Lord has led me along some “prayer paths” that give it a fresh definition for me.  Instead of boring you with an academic discussion on the matter (which you probably wouldn’t read all of anyway), I’d like to share some things that may re-invigorate you on your journey.

One thing for sure…

Praying is the “heart” of the Christian experience.  By “Christian Experience” I mean daily life with God that one experiences.  Experience is a good word.  Conservative Christian dogma has led many to believe that experience is untrustworthy when it relates to true faith.  Ummm….poppycock.
The Scriptures are constantly an invitation to experience what the words are describing.  As God reveals Himself through our hearts, He makes Himself real to our experience. So…the re-definition of PRAYER AND PRAYING:

  • Making head and heart connection with God
  • A “pause” that anticipates experience
  • A “Selah” that introduces magical moments
  • An space where I escape from the flesh
  • God Moments
  • Definitely NOT a rock pile of religious work

What does one do to make it legitimate prayer?

  1. Stop looking for the “right” way
  2. Always be looking for “connection tools”

When a person is bogged down with “the right way” to do anything, they are putting limitations on one of our “in God’s image” most basic characteristics:  Creativity.  He’s THE CREATOR, but in His image we are “creators.”

Creativity in Connecting with God (ie: Prayer) keeps the daily experience FRESH. 

When it’s fresh, it’s fun…alive…satisfying…peaceful…abundant with anticipation for more.  And, those experiences of freedom beckon you for “another dose of the good stuff.”

As we walk a fresh path of connecting with God, we get “a taste” that He is good.  That “taste” motivates us to desire connecting more and more…like the action breathing.

Why is it good to connect with God as a first activity in the morning (or whenever you wake up)?

Answer:  In the physical world you are breaking your fast (breakfast).  Spiritually it’s the same concept.

Illegitimate Answer:  Because God will be disappointed with me all day if I don’t.

Here are a couple of ways I connected with God this morning:

  • I “sat in a circle” of 3 bloggers whose words stirred my heart toward God.  (Literal Definition:  I read 3 blogs I like).  I imagined I was literally sitting in a circle of several people who were sharing their faith experience and gave these 3 voice with my imagination.  As I listened, I heard things that stirred my own heart and I personally responded to God through those stirrings.
  • I read and let my heart reflect and respond to a “9 Week Prayer Countdown” that I and my congregation just started in anticipation of our ministry move.
  • I’m doing it now as I write these words.  As I write, I’m listening to the “inner stirrings” of my heart and mind.
  • I attempt to create some helpful habits, but I don’t get stuck in any one approach.

It’s Labor Day, and I’m going to be spending quite a bit of the day with my wife, son, and his family fishing, chatting, and having fun.  I anticipated that the day will also be “littered” (in a good way) with God Moments.

We’ll talk more…..stay tuned.

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  • Futurehopevm

    I have found that when I go through my life without that “taste” I miss the food it came from!
    Time with God is GOOD food!