Day 48 – Finding Your Way in Prayer
Brother Lawrence said, “I gave up all devotions and prayers that were not required and I devote myself exclusively to remaining always in his holy presence. I keep myself in his presence by simple attentiveness and a general loving awareness of God that I call ‘actual presence of God’ or better, a quiet and secret conversation of the soul with God that is lasting.”
Earlier in Brother Lawrence’s Christian pilgrimage, he lived with tremendous anxieties that he wasn’t following all the expected prayer practices. They just didn’t bring him closer to God.
Ultimately though he gave up all his frustrating efforts, found his own way in prayer, and discovered to his surprise an inner change and a deep sense of peace.
He devoted himself entirely to his one prayer method: remaining in God’s holy presence through simple attentiveness to God, a loving awareness of God, a continual conversation with God.
Perhaps he was told that practicing the presence of God was not enough. He maintained, however, that though he was unworthy, he was experiencing God’s blessings and, indeed, enjoying God himself. This convinced him that he was on the right path.
Brother Lawrence’s dilemma is a common one. We all need to find our way in prayer.
We learn to pray by learning how others pray or listening to others pray. Some prayer patterns work well for us and some don’t. We learn to pray by praying.
It may surprise you that not all people pray the same way. Study the prayers of the people in the Bible – Mary, Daniel, Moses, Elijah, Anna, Nehemiah, Paul, David. They all prayed differently.
Think about how you pray, how you read your Bible, how you express your devotion to God, how you build yourself up in your most holy faith (Jude 1:20).
We all bring our own personalities into our prayer lives, and in this sense, we all pray differently. Yet at the same time, we find our way in prayer as we learn from praying people we know and praying people in the Bible.
Brother Lawrence found his prayer path was different from others’ expectations. But what he learned, we all can learn – remaining in God’s holy presence through simple attentiveness to God, a loving awareness of God, a continual conversation with God.
Action Step: Listen to yourself pray and reflect on your style of prayer.
This is God’s Word for you today,