Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Do you "pray about it"?

Yes – I realize this is a completely intimate and personal question…but I am seriously searching for answers.

Let me explain.

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of blogs that are mentioning God and religion and even quoting scripture. I’m a non-practicing Catholic with a strong, internal faith base. I don’t talk about my faith a lot. I don’t share how I feel about it a lot. I just have it and do it. In my own way.

When I find blogs “preaching” to me about what I should or shouldn’t do in regards to Satan and daily devotions and such…I’ll admit I stop reading. It just doesn’t interest me – because I have my own strong views on what I should and shouldn’t do. If I was searching for a religion or path – I’d probably read more of those types of blogs…but I’m not.

To each his own though. Write about your heart’s desire – even if it’s God. Have at it. More power to you. I admire your faith. I just don’t want to read about it.

In these blogs – before I stop reading though – I see the person mention that when they are struggling – they pray. They usually say, “Such and such is bothering me – so I prayed about it.” Or “my husband and I make a daily habit of praying about and for each other.”

Beyond blogs – I’ve seen a few shows recently where they say, “We didn’t know what to do – so we prayed about it.”

My question???

What does that mean??? For realz. When they say they “prayed about that” – what does that mean exactly?

Does it entail getting down on their knees and folding their hands and putting their head down?

Does it require going off alone or to a church? Does the person pray out loud? In silence? In their head?

When you “pray about it” – what do YOU say or do? Do you just talk to your God like you would talk to a friend? Or does “pray about it” mean that you literally recite known prayers like the Our Father or Hail Mary?

Does “praying about it” mean sitting in silence – meditating? Waiting for an answer? How do you know when you’re done? Do you just do it one time regarding a decision or does “praying about it” mean you do it constantly for days or weeks or until the answer comes?

There are decisions and worries in my life and when I hear about people who say “I prayed about it and then I knew what to do” – I’ll admit it confuses me. Does that person’s “praying” equal what I would call a pro and con list or talking it out with Rambo or journaling until I find my answer?

When I hear the word “pray” – I think of the prayers that were drilled into me as a child that I have memorized for life and I don’t know how on Earth those would bring me an answer to my life’s biggest questions.

But when I read and hear that people “prayed about it” and they felt better and the answer appeared clear – I can admit part of me is envious that they know “how” to do that. Or maybe they just trust in that process more than I do.

Sometimes though – I just want to scream – when the hell do you have time to “pray” about things? Much less long enough to wait for an answer?

I mean if I have an extra 5 minutes – my top priority should be cleaning the toilet where it looks like Shrek lives or clearing a path to my room through the clothes on the floor or getting my big ass on the treadmill.

I suppose maybe this isn’t a question that can be answered by anyone but me. But I’m curious – and if you don’t mind sharing – can you tell me how, when, and where you “pray”? Do you have “prayer” rules – times – guidelines?  Who taught you those things?

Or if you don’t pray – is there a reason why? This interests me too!


jennxaz said...

Yes we pray about it. Yesterday when Johnny threw a rock at a boy..him and I sat down and prayed and asked god for forgiveness and to watch over the little boy that he will get better quick and that the pain will not be too bad and to give Johnny the strength to think threw his actions and not react. We pray every evening before bed whatever is on our minds. I think it of it as a way to steady my brain..it calms me and sometimes it does point out a clear decision I need to make(not always) I have always wanted to meditate everyday for 15min..THAT I have a hard time finding quiet alone time to do..potty doesn't count lol!

Sarah G said...

I don't pray. I'm agnostic, I don't see the point.

Kady Sanchez said...

I believe you're correct. Nobody can really help you through this, but I believe very strongly in the power of prayer. Jesus said to pray without ceasing, and that if you ask with full faith in God that it will be given to you. If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can command the mountain to jump into the sea, and it will jump. I realize that sounds crazy to a lot of people, but I believe because of the things God has done in my life. Prayer is not something that is easy to do. I have to make myself. I pray while I'm working, while I'm walking, while I do the dishes and laundry. I pray for anything and everything on my mind. Friends that are hurting, family on hard times, questions in my own life. Prayer is the only communication between you and God.

I sincerely hope this wasn't too preachy or anything like that. I considered not commenting, because leaving comments like this opens you up to ridicule and arguments. But I needed you to know that praying is so important. You don't have to bow. You don't have to fold your hands together. It is simply coming earnestly before God with thanksgiving, worship, and any and all requests and needs. Please understand that I am in no way trying to tell you what you should do in regards to your own life or walk with God, but simply what I've learned in mine. If it's okay with you, I'd like to pray for you.

Michelle said...

I don't have any set rules for praying. I will pray to let God know I am thankful, or maybe if I need something (and who doesn't, lol). I pray when I have time, I'll pray anywhere or at any time. I don't really think that there is a "right" way to pray, just like my friends don't care if I call them while I'm on the toilet (seriously, I'm just saying it, we all do that!) I don't think God needs us to be at church or on our knees or in any special place. I think He just wants us to talk to Him.

That is a good question you ask though, how do we "know" what is the right thing? That's not an easy answer. Sometimes I ask God for a sign, sometimes I already have a good idea of what I think is right and I pray more for confirmation than an actual answer. Sometimes I pray for an answer and none comes. Sometimes the "right" thing isn't the easiest thing or there isn't really a good outcome no matter what you do (which I do think is the case sometimes with or without prayer). The only way I could describe it is as a feeling. Sometimes I will ask God to change my heart if I could be going in the wrong direction and He has done that before too, I will think I know what to do and I will start seeing the situation differently.

I also think it is a good way to calm your mind and it helps you focus on a problem or a situation. That in turn helps you figure out the right answer.

Those are just my opinions, I like reading your thoughts, ideas, and questions too. :)

Kelliann said...

I pray whenever I have a moment. SOmetimes it's just sitting at my desk and I ask God for strength or guidance. It takes seconds, really. I don't wait for an answer. I know that if God wants to show me the answer, or show me the way, He will in His own way/time. The hard part for me is recognizing sometimes when I am being shown something. Sometimes it's a spontaneous thought...

I'll give you an example. I posted a beautiful picture on facebook of a sunset right out my back window. My initial thought was that I wanted to title it my "God-given sunset"... but I have some friends who are not Christian and I hesitated, so as not to "offend" anyone. In a moment, the words "you will deny me three times" popped into my head. I do NOT want to deny my love for the Lord, so I titled it how I pleased (and it did spark some "comments"). I truly believe that was the Lord reminding me to praise His name always.

That's just an example. I really think that prayer can happen any time, any where. When you think of it, do it. It takes seconds, and will begin to become second nature... if that's what you want, of course! :-) :-)

Cindy said...

I pray for my mind to just let go. Not sure if I'm actually praying to God or just wishing but I'm basically saying - I can't figure this out, please "take over" and maybe open up a new possibility for me that I haven't though of before. So I'm sending that thought / request out of my own head to the universe.

It's really the idea of letting go(and letting God as some may say).

It came to me after reading this book:


Anna said...

No praying for me, as I'm Atheist. When I have challenges, issues, or things I am overwhelmingly stressed about, I write or talk to someone. And then I cry, because a good cry, for me, can pretty much fix anything.

Tina @ The Bandit Girl said...

cool question. I pray as I go to sleep (unless I have some real big out of the ordinary problem). All I need is some quiet time. I talk to God like he is a friend whom I respect deeply. I don't change who I am and talk all proper, mainly because I feel he sees through all that crap. I don't always remember to do it. I don't always have some clear answer come to mind, either. But I do feel reaching out, asking for help, expressing joy and regrets helps me immensely. I feel there is a plan for my life and I often ask for guidance to help me find it. Don't even get me started on prayers for others, those I love....I could go on and on. Good luck exploring. I promise it doesn't hurt. ;)

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

Praying is very personal. No one can teach you how to pray. Sometimes I recite prayers, other times I'm just asking for help. He was getting an earful when I was in the oral surgeon's chair!

Connie O said...

I don't think of it as prayer, but I often talk to myself or ask some undetermined third party (who I think may also be myself ... yes, there are many of me) for help. Today I had a job interview, and I was sitting in the waiting room telling myself, "You'll be fine. You're good at this." Over and over, like a mantra. Then I thought I might have an upset stomach, and I changed it to "Please don't let me have the runs." I don't know whom I was asking, but it all worked out fine!

peacelovepixie said...

I was raised Roman Catholic and I suppose I would be considered 'lapsed' at this point in time. I find what really stuck with me from my schooling was that God is 'Our Father' and Mary 'Our Holy Mother' so I'll often have a chat with one, the other or both at what some might consider odd moments. I often mind I'm most mindful while driving and I've decided neither mind the setting or conversational tone because Moms and Dads don't care when you call - just that you dial the phone. I alternately ask for help with stressful situations or just mention what's going on.

When I find I am praying for guidance on some issue I've taken to asking for a very clear sign, one that I can't miss no matter how obtuse I might be - and i can be very obtuse. I do usually find a sign comes along in due course or I get a intuition to sort of follow an idea.

Sorry for the long winded reply, but I found this post fascinating. In the end I think Fab at 40 is spot on - prayer is personal and therefore there is not right nor wrong beyond what feels right to you.

Nique Crump said...

I think someone can answer this question for you. I don't think there is a conventional way to pray. YOU DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO to express the things on your heart. IF that means getting on your knees get on your knees, heck you could be sitting on the toilet! If is comfortable for you do it! LOL.

Also, the way you word your prayers depends on a lot of things. But if a person is not used to praying just go to God as if He was your best friend (because He is even if we don't know it). And just tell Him what's on your heart, your concerns, your fears, your anxieties. And once you pray about it, it's no longer your problem, it's Gods problem. I think that's what people mean when they say "I'll pray about it". Also, we must close it with in Jesus Name Amen.

God has no special requirements for prayer, the thing He desires the most is a humble and sincere heart.

I hope this helps some. LOL.

Sandy said...

I talk to myself.,wouldn't call it prayer but there is "something" undefined to me that is present. I won't even call it god but its easier to give "it" a name. I talk it over with friends. Just getting things off the chest works. Like blogging. Letting it go and cleansing our soul. And it comes clearer. Wine helps me lots too :-)

BeckyAnne said...

I'm with author Anne Lamott. I think there are three basic prayers all of which take a millisecond to pray: Help! Thanks! Wow!

(Check out her book of the same title.)

My therapist Sean (also a Catholic, lapsed or not, I don't know) says the only prayer he really gets is: May you feel God's presence during your day/struggle.

Vanessa said...

Hmmmm - I like that phrase "pray about it" I don't believe in organized religion. I have a strong connection to the earth and nature and the basic order of life. I would say that I use the prayer as more of a focused inner discussion outlining what I would like in life - the power of intention, ya know. Do I stop in the middle of a crazy day and pray - heck no but there is calmness when I take time to pray ...thanks for bringing this topic up...I shall do it more.

Laura Belle said...

Even though I was brought up in a strict Lutheran household, I don't exactly believe in the whole 'God' thing. It's just a trust issue for me, like, MEN wrote the bible. Not God. MEN. And the majority of the time Man lies. So why should I believe what they wrote in some book?

However, I do believe in a higher power. I do believe there is 'something' out there that we will never understand or comprehend in our lifetimes. I believe that there are spirits. I believe that they can still be with you after their 'body' dies.

So, to answer your prayer question, no I don't pray. Per se. I just thank the universe for what has been given to me. Or if I need to let things out, I talk to a lost loved one (Mike). Or I just talk to myself, because I feel like that 'higher power' communicates through me, so I should be able to figure things out if I talk to myself enough.

Which talking to yourself can also bring on the pink sparkly straightjacket. But eh, who gives a wahoo.

sorry so long. I think you should do whatever YOU feel like. If it feels awkward, try something else till it feels 'right'. Hugs.

MandaPanda said...

I didn't realize I was so far behind on your posts. Sorry!

As for praying, I used to pray on things. I haven't in a long time because I found it felt like no one was listening. That's my truth.