Pray as if you mean it

Throughout my study of Christian Science, prayer has given me direction and insight that humble and invigorate me beyond what human convention and wisdom could accomplish. But sometimes prayer and worship can become routine, and when this happens, I feel almost numb to God’s glory. I want to pray with my whole heart and feel the power of prayer, such as in this verse from Psalms: “God’s there, listening for all who pray, for all who pray and mean it” (Eugene Peterson, The Message, 145:18). So a while ago, I began to study what it means to pray sincerely. 

Jesus illustrates sincere prayer, as in this parable: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matthew 13:45, 46). Praying sincerely is like that—knowing the value of God and putting prayer above empty ritual, materialism, or other distractions. 

In addition to voicing our gratitude or concerns, we must honestly listen to God. Prayer isn’t so much about my input about a problem, but rather feeling alert and receptive—alive to God and God’s direction. Specific prayers, such as the Lord’s Prayer, are likely to be familiar to Christians, but praying these sacred prayers is more than hitting “play” with prerecorded words and hoping that they spark blessing. Inspired prayer allows us to experience fresh new insight. 

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September 4, 2017

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