How do you Pray?

A new year? Wait, I just got started in 2017 and now, it’s a new year? How is that possible? What happened to the old year?
That’s how it feels sometimes. Like the wind rushing past you, the days flash by and then next thing you know, it’s another year. I’m writing this early Christmas morning, the snow is busting down outside, and like the Night Before Christmas poem, not a creature is stirring (OK, my cat Mojo is but the rest of the family is sound asleep. It’s a good time for quiet reflection before the busy morning that is Christmas begins.
It’s is during these times when I find that time itself slows down. I pray each morning (mostly thanking God that I am here another day and also for my family). It’s the same today and when I pray time slows down. Sometimes, for just a brief moment, the hustle of the world leaves and I have a moment, a moment with God to just be.
I am as surprised by these moments as anyone. When I started my journey, answering the call to ministry, during a sesshands-2274255_1920ion with my mentor I said, “I have no idea how to pray correctly.” He chuckled a bit and then assured me that God doesn’t care about format. Sometimes he even yells at God (as in “What were you thinking?…”) and sometimes he just is thankful. My mentor then told me something important about praying, “it is like any other part of your body, with exercise, it improves.”
I thought that was a crazy thing to say, I mean we ARE talking about praying here but I decided to try it. Sure, he did give me something to help (after all he is my mentor). “Start with thanking God for what you have.” It is that simple. Like I said earlier, I start my prayers in the morning by thanking God for another day and the love of my family (and my cat).
I confess, It was weird at first. I’d start my prayer and then…stop and just do nothing. This went on for a few days and then I added some questions. Yes, it is OK to ask God questions, how else will you get answers? In a couple of months I found myself in a full dialog with God. No, I don’t hear God’s voice answering but I do feel the presence of God.
So, how about you? It’s a new year after all. How about your prayer practice? I’d love to hear your experiences. Don’t have a prayer practice, take mine. Seriously, give it a try, there’s no charge and you just might find yourself watching time slow down a little bit.
Happy New Year!

Pastor Rick

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