Are your prayers a ritual, transactional, arguments or conversations? Do you prayers feel like you’re casting spells or incantations or is all of life prayer?
Tom Schwab, founder and chief evangelist officer for Interview Valet, grew up learning rote prayers, grew to a place where was him giving advice to God and as an adult he is learning to have conversations with God.
“Sit down and shut up; you’re not God.”–Tom Schwab
How long would your marriage last if you only spoke once a week?
Learning to pray is similar to the way children learn to talk. We start by mimicking those around us. As we grow older we learn how to speak more clearly through models and rules. When we reach adolescence we learn to discuss, debate, present and critique. Once we become adults we learn to have deep meaningful conversations that are intellectual, emotional and spiritual.
In prayer, we move from infant babbling to childlike rhymes and songs to the creative expressions of youth. If we’re fortunate enough to approach adultlike maturity, our prayers become a two-way street where we listen more than we talk and yet we’re able to be fully honest with God.
Ritual prayers aren’t bad if we learn to slow down and think about what we’re praying. But if we speed through them so we can get to what we want, they become like Christian magic, except they have no potency.
When Jesus taught the disciples to pray the Lord’s prayer, he was aware of their tendency to make this another meaningless ritual which is why he frequently accuses the Pharisees of empty prayers that are intended for others to hear. God hears the prayers of the humble man, not the boaster.
If you want to learn some reasons why believers should pray, see this interview with David C. Scott.
Let us know how this conversation is helpful in your prayer walk with God.