Sunday Talks

How I rediscovered prayer

If you think about it dispassionately for a moment, prayer is a strange thing to do. You are speaking to an invisible man in the sky (or at least that is how one of my non-christian friends describes it). If you saw somebody muttering to themselves in the street you would probably avoid them.

Of course in reality we were are not muttering to ourselves, but it can certainly feel that way sometimes. Prayer is supposed to be where we really build our relationship, but it can be tough sometimes.

I have struggled with prayer most of my christian life. Like many people my prayers turned into long shopping lists of things I wanted from God. There was very little relationship in that, except perhaps a demanding toddler hassling his parents for more sweets.

I also tended to slip into this strange way of speaking when I prayed. My prayers sounded nothing like me. Instead I sounded more like a pentecostal minister from the 1980’s!

Over time I began to realise that I wasn’t really engaging in relationship. However, instead of this encouraging me to seek God, it made me self conscious and my prayer life slowly ground to a halt. In the end my prayer life consisted of asking God to help me prayer.

God answers even the most silted prayers

Of course God is good and He was quick to answer even this stilted prayer.

I am a visual, creative person. I think in pictures and find myself often imagining scenarios.

One night I was lying in bed, half asleep and half awake. In my mind I found myself walking up a path through alpine woodland until I came to a beautiful lake. Reflected in the lake was the amazing night sky and next to it was the warm glow of a campfire.

I went to sit by the fire and found a man sitting there. I knew instantly it was Jesus. Over what felt like hours, we talked. It was wonderful and I found tears running down my cheeks. For the first time in my life, I felt that prayer was finally a two way conversation.

I have returned to that lake many, many times since and spent some amazing times talking to Jesus. However, I know that most of these conversations are born straight out of my imagination.

I trust that God will take my imagination and my knowledge of the Biblical Jesus to lead my thoughts. I am sure not everything I imagine Jesus saying is right, but enough of it is to be a constant encouragement and inspiration. I feel I am really beginning to know Jesus now and I cannot get enough of it.

What is your prayer life like?

So that is my story. It’s a little embarrassing to write it down, but it has been so encouraging I wanted to share it.

Please tell me I am not alone. I would love to hear other people’s experiences of prayer. What has been your most special moment in prayer? Share in the comments below.