For a Christian, prayer is as vital as water is for the body. Like water, prayer quenches the heart’s thirst for God. It allows us to be fulfilled by our deepest longing, which is to know the One who made us. We all have a “God-shaped hole” in our hearts that can only be satisfied by our Creator, and prayer aids us in perfecting this desire.
Prayer Connects Us With Our Creator
In order to have a relationship with Him, we must first be in tune with God’s plan for our lives. We can discern what that plan is. It is through prayer that I have made some of the most important decisions of my life so far, discerning my choice of college, my major, and so many other important life decisions.
It is so easy to forget, but prayer is one of the most necessary aspects of the Christian life. I must admit that I find it difficult to keep up a healthy prayer life at times. Unfortunately, prayer can be neglected so effortlessly, especially when the busyness of life takes over. I have been realizing, though, that taking the time to reflect is one of the best ways to hear God’s voice. It allows us to slow down and live in the present moment.
Bringing us out of ourselves and out of our own little worlds, prayer transforms us into less “me-centered” people and more “others-centered” people. We are able to see the world as God sees it, and we become less consumed with ourselves. It brings us to an awareness of God’s beauty, truth, and goodness. We can truly encounter the person of Christ when we pray.
During difficult times, I have been able to turn to God. Through prayer, I have been able to overcome these struggles. Being able to connect with God during these time has brought great comfort to me. My faith has been strengthened and I have been led to an even deeper understanding of God.
There are many, many ways to pray, but there are a few particular ways of praying that I find myself drawn to. These are just a few of my favorite forms:
1) Journaling. This is by far my most favorite way to pray. As a writer, journaling helps me to see my thoughts more clearly, and through them, I can hear the voice of God speak. One thing I really like about journaling is that you can look back at your entries years later and see God working in your life. It is so easy to keep a journal, too. I keep mine by my bedside, and I like to journal before I go to bed to reflect on my day. The journal you use does not have to be anything fancy, as along as it does the job!
2) Praise and Worship music. Praise and Worship music has been a huge part of my life for many years. This format is not only enjoyable for me, but it also uplifts my spirit. I have heard God’s voice speak to me during times when I have prayed with this music. It is best to pray with this music in a live setting, but it is also a good idea to have a playlist of these songs.
3) The Liturgy of the Hours. I have been using the Liturgy of the Hours to pray since I was a young girl. The Liturgy of the Hours is the official prayer of the Church that priests and religious are required to pray, but lay persons are welcome to pray it as well. It is a regimented set of prayers that are said at certain times during the day. Included in this are hymns, psalms, readings from the New Testament, and general intercessory. You can easily find this office of readings online at universalis.com.
The list does not end there! Anything that draws you nearer to God is a prayer. For example, musicians can turn the notes they play into a prayer by using their talents to glorify God in their music. The key is finding your unique style–whether it be through writing, praising God in song, or by reading Sacred Scripture.
Above all, it is important to remember that prayer should not be a way that we earn God’s love. His love is not something to be earned. It is an encounter with our Creator. If our prayer is not heartfelt, it is meaningless.