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PRAYER

There are two persons involved in prayer--God and ourselves. God never forgets us. We are always in God's loving care. We are always in relationship with God, for he created us and breathes his life and love into us at each moment. We have only to open the door of our hearts to pray for ourselves and for the world.

God reveals himself to us in many different ways. God tells us about himself in the words of Scripture. He shows us what he is like in the person of Jesus. He can also reveal himself to us in a conversation with a friend, in the comment of an acquaintance. For many people God shows himself in children, in their trustful acceptance of life, in their simple joys and innocent fun. God also makes his presence known through the daily news, through world events as they affect our lives.

God's activity is all around us. We have only to open the eyes of faith to see God acting in his creation, revealing himself to us in countless ways.

But we can move through our days seldom--even never--conscious of this relationship. In order to pray, we must first recognize God's presence, then respond to him. When God's grace-filled presence and our conscious desire come together, then we are praying.

This is the lesson that Piri Thomas and James Dycus learned through their experiences.

Piri Thomas (click here)

James Dycus (click here)

Once we are aware of God's presence, our response can take many forms. We can praise God, telling him of our wonder and admiration at his goodness and greatness. This is a beautiful response to God It is a prayer that many people neglect, but it is very appropriate and fills the pray-er with joy and gladness.

We can look around us and thank God for our beautiful earth, for all the resources that add to the comfort and fullness of our lives. We can thank him for all the people he has places in our lives, people who have helped us in our journey to him, people who have gifted us with friendship. Our lives have been filled with special, unique blessings. When we begin expressing gratitude to God. we see more and more ways in which we have been blessed, more and more reasons for thanking God.

Gratitude gives us the hope and trust that God will provide for us now and in the future. God knows what we need, but our prayers of petition remind us how much we depend on God. We place before God our concerns, our weakness and vulnerability; we ask God to care for us.

We recognize too that in spite of all God has done for us we have not always responded in a loving way. We have used God's gifts in ways that work harm to ourselves and others. We need to repent, to ask God for his mercy and for his grace to change our hearts.

These are suggestions for a very simple way to pray. There are many other ways, such as some of the following:

Prayer of Happy Memories

Rocking Chair Prayer

Prayer of Yourself

Sounds of Prayer

SEE ALSO

SPIRITUALITY FOR WOMEN

TOUCHED BY GOD

SEEDTIME OF PEACE: A LIVING ROOM RETREAT

MUSTARD SEED PROCESS

RESTLESS HEARTS

Your comments or questions may be e-mailed to: swifthelen@hotmail.com

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