Why do so many people struggle to pray?
For years I thought I was the only prayer wimp. I thought everybody ‘got’ prayer. I read stories of these people who would pray all night or get up at 4am every day and pray, and I always felt inferior. So this book is my response: what I’ve learnt and what has helped me. I’ve discovered that a lot of us are prayer weaklings; at least a lot of us think we are. One of the messages of the book is, don’t be so quick. Even the simplest prayer has great power.
Why is it important to approach God the way a child approaches a father?
If God is just a cruel dictator or a busy king, then we can assume that our prayers would not matter. But if we can understand that God is first and foremost our father, well, a good father wants to hear from his children. He doesn’t always do what his children want, but he always does what is in his children’s best interests.
If Jesus was the Son of God, why did he need to pray so much?
You’d think that of all the people who didn’t need to pray it would be Jesus. But he did pray, and it seems like every time he turned around he was demonstrating prayer. This teaches me that prayer is really more about the relationship – the communion with God – than it is about anything else. There is a desire in the heart of God to spend time with us and to hear from us. That’s what Jesus did. He just wanted to reconnect with his heavenly father.
Do you think we focus too much on what we’re praying about rather than who we’re praying to?
I DON’T THINK WE CAN ‘MIS-PRAY’ ANY MORE THAN A CHILD CAN ‘MIS-HUG’
We can get focused on the technique of the prayer, the wording of the prayer, the formula of the prayer and maybe even the language of the prayer. Here again we come back to the power of a simple prayer. I don’t think we can ‘mis-pray’ any more than a child can ‘mis-hug’.
When a child comes to hug [their] father, the father does not grade that hug according to style. And neither does Jesus. He doesn’t grade our expressions of love according to style. Some days they’re clumsy, sometimes they’re eloquent, but when the heart is present, God hears our prayers.
How do we learn to trust God when we pray?
I think that’s what prayer does; it develops our ‘trust muscle’. The key is giving our problems to God and leaving them there. The example is Mary the mother of Jesus telling Jesus about the wedding that had no wine and leaving that problem with him. She just said, ‘They have no more wine.’ And basically, whatever he said was going to be ok with her. That’s what prayer is; it’s leaving our problems with God.
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