Does the title of this blog post ring a bell? Remember the highly-controversial 1970 book by Judy Blume with a somewhat similar title? The book’s leading character was Margaret Simon, an 11-year old only child faced with two tough issues: puberty and religion. Margaret does not know how to deal with her changing body or the fact that her mother is Christian, but her father is Jewish. Despite her confusion and uncertainty, she makes an excellent choice. She chooses to pray to God. Because she’s not exactly sure who God is or how one goes about praying, she opens every prayer with, “Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret.” She talks to God about exactly what’s on her mind . . . “Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret. I just told my mother I want a bra. Please help me grow God, you know where. I want to be like everyone else.”
Reminiscing about this book scares me just a little. I’m way past the age of 11, yet my prayers don’t sound a lot different from Margaret’s. Well, maybe I better clarify. I gave up praying God would help me grow, you know where, a long time ago, but I’m still praying to God about exactly what’s on my mind and on my heart. I’m still talking to Him like he’s my best friend, my big sister, and my daddy all rolled into one in the very best way possible. So why does this scare me?
Do you ever wonder about prayer? Is there a right way to do it? a wrong way? Is it better to start the day with prayer or finish the day with prayer? What happens if you fall asleep praying? Or, worse yet, what happens if you start praying and get so distracted mid-sentence that you switch from praying to making your mental to do list? Should you pray for every person on your prayer list every day? Is it a sin when you tell someone you’ll pray for them, but yet you forget to write it on your prayer list so you never really do? Please tell me I’m not the only one wondering about these questions (or the only one who read Judy Blume’s books!). I bet I’m not, but just in case . . . before you add me to your prayer list, let me say two things:
- I believe with all my heart that God hears our prayers – every single one of them . . . regardless of how, when, or where we pray them.
- I believe with all my heart that prayer matters, and we cannot live a victorious life without prayer.
That’s why I’m studying prayer. I’m reading through all 117 verses in the Bible (NIV) that have the word “pray” in them, as well as the 68 verses with the word “prayed.” Abraham prayed. Moses prayed. Esther prayed. Daniel prayed three times a day. Jesus prayed. What can I learn from them? What can I learn from you? I know I have friends who are mighty prayer warriors, and I bet those same friends may have struggled with their prayer life at some time. If you believe in praying to God, I would love it if you would share about your prayer life – the how, when, where, and what – anything you’re willing to share. If you are willing to share your thoughts with everyone, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. If you’d rather share just with me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me through Facebook.
Prayer is how we communicate with God, and our relationship with God grows stronger through constant communication. I know that now better than at any point prior in my life, yet I want to grow closer still to God. I know you do, too! I promise to share the insights I glean from my studies about prayer, and I’ll protect everyone’s privacy.
I know you’re there, God. It’s me, Trae. Thank you for prayer. Thank you for providing a 1-800 number and a 911 call. Thank you for being available 24/7. Thank you for hearing my every request – from the simple and mundane to the really big and complicated. Thank you for Your Word and for my precious friends who so beautifully live their faith out loud. I can’t wait for all that You will show me and teach me. With a grateful heart I pray, Amen.