Raised in a denominational church in which all prayers except for the ‘Our Father’ were extemporaneous, caused me to think that written prayers were ‘not so hot or acceptable’. I had heard prayers with the repetitious ‘oh God’…and thought ‘He knows we’re speaking to Him!’ None of us speaks with our friends or family like that. We look at them, get their attention and say “Hey, this is on my mind.” Or better yet acknowledge their presence and, “Do you want talk to me?”
God said, “This is my beloved Son, listen to Him.”(Luke 9:35) yet we walk right in without a greeting with our requests and don’t acknowledge His presence in the conversation. Through out Lent this year I have been using written prayers ‘exclusively’. I believe getting to the point in confession is putting me ahead of the problem of ‘listening to Him’. It gets to the point. Greeting God, our Father, in Jesus name; stating my clarified short intention and then listening for the forgiveness, encouragement, correction that is needed to help me hear and obey better.
I absolutely LOVE the written prayers of the saints down through ages. There was real repentance and gratefulness. Having the prayer in written form gives a firm focus and helps to inform and reform my thinking. It’s not like reading the word of God, but it brings me into tune with Him, so when I read the scriptures, I get what it is saying to me, most of the time. (Deuteronomy 6:6“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”)(Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.)
Reading scripture and written prayers, along with the thoughts that are running around in our heads to talk about, is a good way to “LISTEN”…pray and obey! Hoping and praying your Lenten season is spiritually profitable.