“The richness of God’s word ought to determine our prayer, not the poverty of our heart.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
I once thought of prayer as the thing you do when things went wrong, or I did something wrong. At another stage in my spiritual walk prayer was an activity where I sent my requests, my desires, my wants up to heaven’s door, and waited for “my” answer. Or praying for other people, particularly those in my family, who needed help, assistance, resources and money was an expectation during religious services, and specified times. Of course, prayer was encouraged as a spiritual discipline that one should practice on a daily basis to maintain a “right” relationship with God.
Over the years, I’ve learned through trial, and much error that prayer is and will always be divine communication with the Holy of Holies-with God. And that you don’t have to come with an agenda, or lists of people, issues, or circumstances needing prayer. One just has to come seeking to spend time with God.
Prayer is sharing your concerns, and desires, yes but it is so much more. It is filling your mind, your spirit, your soul with God. It is being in His presence, sensing and hearing from Him. And yes, it is also about the people, places, and things which concern us. But more importantly, our prayer life is our Spirit Life. It is a sacred, intimate discussion with the One person who is so wonderful, so marvelous that you want to the spend time with him in prayer.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote brilliantly when he said that richness of God’s word should determine the length, breadth and depth of our prayer and not external matters. Prayers built on the reality of the truth of God’s word and divine work gives a fuller meaning our time with God, because we pray out of love and gratitude, and not despair.