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What Will Happen When You Pray?

Does trying to pray leave you feeling like you missed a class everyone else attended?

The notion of a two-way conversation with a God you cannot literally see or hear can feel elusive and frustrating. We all spend years learning to read, write, add and subtract; relatively few people spend devoted time learning to pray.

One possible explanation for this is that we incorrectly think there is an ideal formula or playbook for prayer. Remember, prayer is about a unique relationship between you and God. If you are recently married, you can learn a lot from couples who have been together for years. But their experiences will only get you so far.

Learn what you can from others, but embrace the journey of discovering your own relationship with God.

Here are six things to expect as you develop a conversation with God:

  1. You will recognize that you are not God.
    Every time you pray, you are saying, “In my own strength, I cannot do all that I want to do. I need something more, someone else.”
  2. You will realize the world doesn’t begin and end with you.
    When babies cry, someone usually comes and meets their needs, but this kind of attention does not last forever. Growing up is a painful process of slowly coming to terms with the reality that the world doesn’t revolve around you. Whether you are praying for yourself or others, you’re acknowledging someone else is the center of the universe.
  3. You will gain strength from outside of yourself.
    Prayer is a way of inviting a higher power to enter into your life’s struggles. Prayer can be a source of strength, wisdom and inner peace.
  4. You will surrender control to somebody else.
    Everyone is a control freak to one degree or another. Prayer allows you to admit to God that you need Him in the driver’s seat of your life.
  5. You will communicate your real feelings.
    Do you feel ready to give God control of your life? Talk to God honestly about how that question makes you feel. He knows everything about you. He’s eager to listen 24/7. Prayer is a safe way to process your thoughts and feelings.
  6. You will trust that God is with you.
    Unless you’re happy to admit that you talk to floors or ceilings, when you pray, you’re believing that someone or something is listening — and might even do something about the things you’re talking about.

How does this sound to you? Scary? Intriguing? Utterly confusing?

Prayer is a mysterious thing — simple but profound. Billions of people pray every day. What you can be sure of is that God listens to them all.

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