One of the things I like to say in this writing is that God draws each of us to Her/Himself in different ways. There is no one correct way to pray and no wrong way to pray: there is only your way.
Some months ago I stumbled upon this post by Rebecca at Grace and Salt Ink. I like the way she writes there, and in subsequent posts. She shares openly the difficulties of being a parent and trying to find time and space to pray. She seeks advice. Other people’s suggestions for ways to pray don’t work out. The piece of advice that does bear fruit is to prioritise time for prayer, and trust that everything else will fall into place and get done. She discovered for herself wonderfully creative ways to pray, which she continues to develop in relationship with God. It is an inspiring story.
There is also a lively demonstration here of the difference between Bible study, which leads to knowing about God, and Bible journaling, which leads to knowing God. To know God, to allow ourselves to be known, intimately: this is the aim of prayer.
God treats with us in ways unique to each. There may be common threads between us, ways that have become traditions of spiritual practice, and there may be ways that some would find strange or even shocking. There are however some guidelines for discernment in this matter. The clue to good prayer is two-fold:
- a growing love of, trust in, and gratitude towards God;
- a growing kindness and compassion to self and other, including non-human others.
This is not easy. Love, trust, gratitude, kindness, and compassion: these don’t come naturally (at least, not to me).
God’s grace is always with us. (It is like the air – always there to be breathed.) We have to avail ourselves of that grace by continually putting ourselves in the way of it. It involves taking responsibility for our life. (We must keep on breathing!) One of the ways of taking responsibility is to prioritise prayer, even in a life that seems short on time.
Like Rebecca, that might involve finding creative ways of praying that fit with the rest of life. And it might also involve trusting that if you take the time to pray, what needs to be done will be done.