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The Good Christian Prayer Life

I’ve recently been considering my prayer life and, to be honest, felt I wasn’t achieving many of the goals that constitute, the ‘Good Christian Prayer Life’.

I suspect some of this is due to the fact that there’s huge diversity in how we can approach prayer, and it opens up a whole heap of questions: is the traditional Church wrong in using a liturgy; should I just chat and say what I like; should I be on my knees, sitting quietly or standing up and storming the gates of heaven; talk more or sit in silence so I can hear God’s voice more clearly; from a list, or only what I feel in my heart? Not to mention frantically trying to remember all those I blithely said, “I will pray for you” to! Then there’s the issue of when we’re to fit prayer times into a busy day... with the murmurings of “You should always find time for a quiet time,” pricking at our conscience.

In all honesty, I was getting myself into a muddle and a sense of failure and guilt started to creep in.

It was during this time that I rediscovered this precious scripture. God gently and kindly showed me the prayers that I have recently prayed. I was surprised to discover that it wasn’t only the formal prayers in church, during the prayer meetings or the times when I was consciously praying for something in particular that reached God’s heart but included the, “Oh God, Help!” prayers, and those that were just cries from the heart that sometimes don’t even have words.

Each and every one of these prayers was heard because they came from the heart. Each time, I simply called out to a God who I know knows everything and longs to hear my voice call out to Him.

Yet He didn’t just hear my words, he listened... They weren’t just a noise in the background sea of everyone else’s prayers. He intently listened to each one of my words, knowing I was sharing my heart with Him, and that’s important and precious to Him.

All in all, I’ve given up on the idea of trying to find the perfect prayer formula, and I’ve devoted my time of speaking to God to always being from the heart. I know that whenever I call out to Him He’ll be listening, and when I seek Him with all of my heart, I’ll find Him.

Prayer: Oh Lord, I’m sorry if I’ve made prayer something it isn’t, particularly if my prayers haven’t come straight from my heart to yours. Help me to know that each time my heart cries out to You, it’s a prayer that You listen to with love and compassion. Amen.
 

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Scripture

"Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:12-13, NIV

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Today's Writer

Lindsey Hanekom Lindsey has worked at all of our UK centres over the years and has settled at Ellel Scotland with her husband, Johann and their two young children, Kyle and Zoe. As part of the Leadership Team at Ellel Scotland, Lindsey has a heart for the deeply broken as she oversees the prayer ministry and is an established and passionate teacher with Ellel. In her spare time, Lindsey enjoys the natural world, particularly the ocean, and is trained as a specialist medic to assist stranded and injured marine mammals.

Lindsey Hanekom


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