I want to specifically concentrate on individual prayer. You choose to do it quietly, loudly, with closed or open eyes depending on what engages you deeply. The environment should be conducive.
Prayer is the deep indulgence with God. As you present your prayers before God, always remember he is a God that you honor and serve; you value him, believe in him and rely on him. He owns your life and has the mandate to do anything with it.
Imagine life without Gods creation! Water, air, soil, plants, animals, day or night are all God’s creation. Try to imagine human beings on earth without any of these! In fact we wouldn’t live if any one of these wouldn’t have been created. On the contrary, these things do not need us to survive; we are the ones who need them.
So what do you do when you honor someone?
Let’s use your boss as an example: When he calls upon you, you immediately turn up to hear what he has to say. You compose yourself with respect. If you need anything from him, you ask for it amicably. You don’t dare make noise in his office whether he’s in or not; you respect him.
God and your boss are incomparable. When you enter the Lord’s temple, compose yourself, respect the Church and give God the honor he deserves. Patiently wait for the mass or service to begin if there is no activity taking place yet. Only move around if it’s absolutely necessary.
How to pray
A good prayer involves praising the Lord, thanks giving, seeking forgiveness and presenting your petitions. I prefer them in this order because God has to be given priority. Organize the time you have allocated to God to either incorporate all these prayers by the end of the day or ignore your petitions anyway; sometimes just praise and thank God.
- Praise and thanks giving – This is where the greatest percentage of time should be spent. It involves inviting the Holy Spirit within you thus giving a leeway for your petitions to be heard. If you can’t do it by praying, simply sing, concentrate and digest every bit of the songs and you’ll feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.
- Forgiveness – Even the holiest of all people sins every day. I don’t agree with people who feel worthier than others before God because that in itself is already a sin. If you can remember your sin, mention it as you pray but if you can’t just sum up your prayer to asking for forgiveness even for what you didn’t notice and what you cannot remember.
- Petitions – This is where we tend to concentrate more but it’s wrong. If praise, thanks giving and seeking forgiveness are properly done, I don’t even need to mention my petitions because God already knows what I want and will give if I deserve to receive it. Spend the least time on petitions and always do it last.
Study the Lord’s Prayer taught to us by Jesus. You will notice the procedure is as above.