7 prayers that get me through

Originally published Monday, 11 April 2016.

I am not the biggest prayer. I don’t wake up at 5am to pray. And I don’t have a set time for prayer either.

I’m more of a pray as I go person. I pray little, short prayers way more than I pray long ones. 

I pray what Anne Lamott would call “Help, Thanks, Wow” prayers a lot. 

I love walking and talking to God. But I’m not really good at running and praying at the same time.   

I am more likely to pray when I’m outside then when I’m locked up in a small room.

And I’m a person who loves borrowing other people’s words when I pray (you’ll see that in the prayers I link to below). 

On the other hand I like just making prayers up as I go. I know I can say whatever I want to God. And I do. In fact, last night while I prayed out loud for some people my husband and I love my husband interrupted me and said, “You know you’re rambling right?”

I’ve seen that prayer changes things. I don’t know how and it doesn’t make sense to me why some prayers are answered and others aren’t but somehow prayer works. Even when it feels like I’m talking to the ceiling. I think that might be because there is no formula to prayer

As I looked back I realised that these 7 prayers have set the tone for much of my prayer life. If you’re looking for words to begin chatting to God I hope they help. 

How to pray – lessons for anyone who struggles to find the right words 

This last week I was asked to write a series of prayers. I answered quickly, “Sure. I’ll do that.” Then I sat down to write them and I froze. I didn’t know what to write. I didn’t know how to pray. My words seemed inadequate. Not pretty enough. Not spiritual enough. So I did what any blocked writer does, I googled: “How to pray” and “Formula’s for prayer.”

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How to pray when you’re feeling reckless about the future

Last year I chose the word, "enough" as my #oneword365. It was a safe word. Much like the word my parents made us memorise as kids so we could let them know if something was wrong without having to come right out and say it.

The word I've chosen this year scares me. It feels like a challenge to God. But the worst kind of challenge. It feels like a gasping for breath when you're submerged under water. It feels like a prayer.

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How to pray when you want God to change your life

Recently I bought a book by Claire Diaz-Ortiz called Hope Runs*. I'm only about half way through but I’ve realised it is book about how God disturbs the life she thought she would have for the life he wanted her to have. 

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How to pray when you’re going through hard times

A friend of ours has fought cancer twice. Recently he got a cold and went to the doctor. To cut a long story short they sent him for chest x-ray’s. Those x-rays have shown up a white spot. 

I was away when Xylon heard from his friend and so he texted me to let me know. Ending the message with, “please pray!”

How do you pray when your heart is breaking?

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When you feel unloved by God, pray this

Brennan Manning tells a story of 78 year-old nun who was sexually abused by her father from the age of 5. This nun comes to Manning one night at tells him of all the hatred she has felt in her heart for a long, long time. She spoke about going through the motions of religion to keep up appearances. But her heart was so very, very broken. 

After listening to her story, and praying for healing, Manning asked her to find a quiet place and pray this prayer every day for the next 30 days

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How to pray when you can't change your circumstances

I find myself praying constantly, "Lord, let it be clear." Part of me thinks I should be praying, “Lord, take me to the place of your greatest blessing” but I can’t find it in me to do that. So instead I’m just praying my heart out and trusting that will be enough.  

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How to pray when you are anxious

When I first read about this prayer in in a book by Brennan Manning called “The Furious Longing of God” I thought it sounds too simple but I’ll try it anyway. 

I can’t remember the exact words Manning wrote but I remember reading something along the lines of, 'if you pray this prayer every day for one month it will change you.' This prayer has changed me.

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