Updated: Jul 10, 2022
Here are a few notes after talking with a couple of friends about prayer over coffee. These are mostly written to help me digest what we discussed. If there is anything here for you, let me know.
You may have noticed some thoughts about prayer in a recent MoF News. As a reference, I drew from:
The first thing we need to get right is who God is (God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself….God calls every being from nothingness into existence.…). We have to be centered and focused on him and who we are in him (the (adopted) sons and daughters of God). We pursue an intimate relationship with God, through Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit, through prayer, scripture, life, and fellowship.
Prayer takes many forms. Here is one approach:
Start with gratitude in the presence of his love and virtue.
Repent and accept his love and forgiveness.
Ask to know his heart through our senses and other ways of knowing (head, heart, body, soul, conscience).
Surrender, declaring our openness and obedience to his will.
Focus and refocus our attention to manage distractions, throughout the day or during formal prayer time.
A desire to experience some answer to our prayers is human nature. We may understand the effects of prayer by reciting, “God answers (all) prayer in his own time and in ways that are not always obvious to mankind.” However, there is at least some hope we can hear God’s will and perceive his answers to our prayers. Some of the ways would be:
Listening not only with our intellect (or head), but also with our heart, eyes, body, and lived experience.
Taking an accepting/trusting approach to God’s will rather than an ego-based contrary stance.
Probing our head, heart, body, soul, and conscience for feelings of a settled heart, certainty, or harmony.
Probing our head, heart, body, soul, and conscience for feelings of an unsettled heart, insecurity, or anxiety.
Triangulating our understanding, and the perceived answers to prayer, by comparing it to Church teaching for corroboration.
Please help me understand this topic better. Reply with your comments if you feel like it. Here is a bonus from a reliable source: https://youtu.be/abBZBt-Mjdk