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As United Methodists, we believe that there are many ways to pray. Christians consider praying to be something we are obligated to do. As such, it is sometimes described as part of a spiritual discipline. To be sure, there is value in thinking of prayer as a requirement for spiritual growth. Thinking of it that way helps us remember to ask for God’s help and blessing each day of our lives. But the danger is that we come to think of prayer as one more thing we have to get done, an additional item for our already crowded “to-do list.” If we are not careful, prayer may begin to feel like a chore. So we need reminding that there are many ways to pray, some familiar and some not so familiar. We just might try something new.
A unique thing about biblical faith is the central affirmation that God speaks. God spoke, and all of creation was born. Think of all the characters in the Bible, from Moses to Mary to Paul and beyond, who hear the voice of God and are never quite the same again. If prayer is a means of communication with God, it follows that much of our praying ought to involve listening for what God has to say.
“Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking Him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe, in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 6 and 7 (TEV).