A few weeks ago Dianne and I led a morning on prayer for some teenagers from a local school. We sought to reveal to them the depth of prayer and how it can draw us closer to God & we began by showing them this video:
I was so struck when I first saw this, of how the speaker just pours out his passion for prayer in words. Lines like this:
‘How many times have you cried, whimpered, sighed, whispered, tried to listen, died and risen, how many times, have you approached God honestly….’
‘How many times have you run to your lover for passion, your provider for rations, your Father for lessons, your instructor for lashings…’
I don’t think we can hear these lines and not be challenged.
How many times have I truly prayed like this?
I describe prayer for me like a necessity, as much as air or water or food. Without it each day would be half lived. Without time with Jesus I am anxious, grumpy, selfish and with it, I am peaceful, filled with compassion and hope and centred around him.
Our challenge to the young people we met that morning, was to give all of themselves to God in prayer, not to hide but to be open, completely honest. To seek God in all things, in all situations. For them it is a new journey, one of discovery and learning, but for many of us that journey might be a bit tired, a well trodden, weary path, or an unanswered, confused one.
So I want to encourage you, especially in this season of Lent, to seek God afresh in prayer. Watch the video and allow yourself to question his words, do you pray with passion, or absolute honesty? Have you ever cried out to him in pain or suffering or anger? Have you invited him into the every day detail of your life?
Or perhaps, why not try something new in your prayer life? There are old traditional forms of prayer like the ‘Examen’, encouraging us to look at the day just passed, or Lectio Divina that helps us to focus on God’s word. Or you might like to try something different, start a prayer journal, or get creative – have you ever thought of prayer doodling or colouring (adult colouring is very in right now you know!).
For me I am focussing on the Psalms at the moment. I always think they are a bit like marmite, you either love them or you hate them, but for me, it’s definitely love. I spent some time at college studying them and reading and praying through one a day for a term, and that was it. The passion of the Psalmist as he cries out, the absolute honesty, his desperation, his anger at God, just shows us that it’s ok to reveal all to the Lord, in fact more than ok, God wants to know every part of our lives. Just as in the video above, it seems almost like a modern day Psalm, as he encourages us to cry out just as the Psalmist did, in all truth, in all honesty and laid bare before our heavenly Father.
So why not, in this season of Lent, seek the Lord more deeply, cry out to him, and allow your prayer life and perhaps your faith to be deepened.