ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Many Ways of Prayer

Updated on October 16, 2013
Yosemite Church, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California, USA.
Yosemite Church, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California, USA. | Source

The Need for Prayer

I'm Catholic. When I was growing up, my best friend was the son of a Baptist preacher. My father was Mormon before converting a few years ago to the Catholic faith. I've had friends and co-workers who are Jewish, Jehovah's Witnesses, Methodists, Lutherans, Christians, Baptists, Mormons, Episcopalians, Muslims, and Buddhists. I've even had some students who claimed to be Atheists. But what I have found throughout life, and throughout my personal and professional connections to people, is that we all have a need to pray. Yes, I said it, ALL of us share the basic fundamental need of needing to pray.

Now before anyone gets upset and starts clicking the comment button, give me a chance to be heard. Do you ever hope for something? Who doesn't? I'm not talking about a child hoping for a new bike, or me hoping that the restaurant where I'm having dinner will have blackberry cobbler. The hope of which I speak is for people to treat one another better, for a loved one to come through surgery all right, or for a child not to be bullied at school. Everyone hopes, and what is hope but a prayer?


What's in a Name?

It does not matter to whom you pray. I pray to God; others might call on Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, or even the Father of the Wind. Diverse cultures have different words for "mom" and "dad" as well. Let's not quibble over names. The important thing is that you feel that you have someone to whom you can send your prayer, or hope.

As a public school teacher I, of course, can not lead or suggest prayer to my students. However, when a fellow teacher was gravely injured some years ago, I asked my students to keep her and her family in their positive thoughts and to hope for the best. All of my students loved this teacher, and, regardless of their beliefs, they did this continually. Hopes can't just sit like a bump on a log, they have to be sent somewhere. Translated, those positive thoughts and hopes transformed themselves into daily prayers by those students, their parents, and everyone else who heard about what this teacher was up against. Despite a multitude of broken bones and numerous other injuries, that teacher returned to school in less than a year and continues to be a positive role model for her students. The power of prayer amazes, even if you don't realize that you are praying.

Life is too Busy

"Life is too busy," you might say. "I'd like to find the time to pray, but I'm always running here and there. At night, I'm just too tired." Or, perhaps you are one of those who doesn't know how to pray. "I don't know what to say, or where to say it." That's okay. It's not rocket science. God is not the owner of a Fortune 500 company from whom you are asking for a raise. This is someone who cares about you, and is ready to listen to you whenever you are ready to talk.

I talk all the time. Just ask my husband, and he'll confirm that. So what's to stop me from talking to God? After all, he is the one who gave me a voice. So let me share some of the times in my busy day when I've been know to pray, and what I've said.


Talking to God on the Fly

  • When something good happens (i.e. a baby smiles at me and it brightens my day) - "Thank you, God."
  • When something bad could have happened (i.e. a car just barely misses me as I'm driving down the road) - "Thank you, God for keeping me safe. Please help that driver to be safe."
  • When something bad happens (i.e. a friend has just phoned with troubling news) - "Dear God, please be with her today as she waits to hear the news."
  • At school during a moment of silence - "Help all of us to have a good day. Please help me to provide the best education and to be a good role model. Help me to see the face of God in each child."
  • When I talk to my dad on the phone - "Thank you, God, for allowing me to still have my father. Please keep him in good health."
  • When I'm missing my mother - "Dear God, I miss Mom so much, but I'm glad she is no longer in pain. Thank you for blessing me with such good parents."
  • When I don't get a job that I've got my heart set on - "God, I don't understand, but I do understand that you have a better plan for me."
  • When you have a "prayer list" - (i.e. friends, loved ones, friends of friends who need prayers) - "Dear God, I offer up all that I do today for all of those on my prayer list who are in need of prayer, and for all of those who aren't on anyone's prayer list who are also in need of prayer."

This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. Such reproductions are in the public domain in the United States. Albrecht Durer (1471-1528)
This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. Such reproductions are in the public domain in the United States. Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) | Source

"Dear God, It's Me Donna"

See, it's not rocket science. If it were, I couldn't do it. But if you're like me, there are times when you want, and need, something more significant. So what then? Well, it all depends. There are so many ways to pray. Different people feel comfortable praying in different ways. Below are just some of the ideas that work for me:

  • I'm a church-goer. I go to church every Sunday. I was raised that way, and I actually feel better about myself, and the world around me after I've been. Even on days when I haven't felt well, I feel better once I'm at church.
  • I also grew up in church and school choirs, and was taught that "singing is praying twice." Now, as a member of my church choir and a cantor/song leader, I feel that I am an instrument in leading the congregation to prayerful reflection and jubilation through song. It's an added way for me to pray, and to share that prayer.
  • Steal some quiet time. Sometimes I go into the guestroom where I keep my hamster. I close the door (more to keep the dog out than anything), cuddle with my hamster, reflect on the day and thank God for what's gone right in the day. For anything that hasn't gone right, I ask him to help me through it, and to help me learn from it.
  • When I am home alone, I turn off the television, radio, etc., and sit quietly. Sometimes I use the time to thank God; other times I use it to ask for something from God. Sometimes I just use it to praise God for all the good that is around me.
  • Journaling. Whether you keep a diary, a simple reflection of something that happened, a gratitude journal, or you read a Bible verse and write about what you got from the verse, writing your feelings down is very therapeutic for the soul. It is calming, and allows you to go back at a later date, when you might be having difficulties with your spiritual life, to remind yourself of your beliefs.
  • Soft music, whether from a C.D., radio, or your own piano playing, can help to slow you down to be ready to talk to God, and to listen.
  • Standard prayers, such as The Lord's Prayer, The Hail Mary, and The Rosary provide the comfort of ritual, and allows the reciter to visualize the prayers

Again, these are just some of the countless ways in which I choose to pray. While prayer can be a group event, such as at church, the way in which one chooses to pray is extremely personal. Choose what is right for you, so that you AND God get the most from it.

"I Don't Think God is Listening..."

"I don't think God is listening, I didn't get what I wanted." How many times have we all felt that way? We want something so badly, and pray to God fervently for it, but to no avail. Don't feel discouraged. When you were younger did your parents always get you what you asked for? Just because they didn't fulfill your wishes, didn't mean that they weren't listening to you. Sometimes my parents did not want me to have things because what I wanted was dangerous, a waste of money, or would only become part of my collection of discarded toys. I later learned that my parents always knew best.

God not only is listening to your prayers, but he is also considering what is truly best for you. You may not feel that he is answering your prayers, but "No" is an answer, too. Just like from our parents, we need to learn to accept his answer. That does not mean we stop praying. On the contrary, continue praying. As a matter of fact, PUSH -- Pray Until Something Happens. It might not be what you want to happen, but in time you will realize that God had a plan all along and that his plan makes sense.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Donna Kay Bryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kay Bryan 

      5 years ago

      Dbro, I am glad that you enjoyed the article. Thank you so much for your kinds words, but truly, I feel that I am the one who has been blessed by having the opportunity to share in the lives of young people.

      Thank you again, and God bless!

    • Dbro profile image

      Dbro 

      5 years ago from Texas, USA

      Donna, what a lovely article. I enjoyed reading this so much! Your advice about finding time and ways of prayer that fit for an individual is so good. Your students are blessed to have someone like you for a teacher.

      Thanks again for this inspiring hub!

    • Donna Kay Bryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kay Bryan 

      5 years ago

      Laurie, I appreciate the kinds words. LOL, my Mom is up there probably talking God's ear off! He might be wishing he were alone!

    • Donna Kay Bryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kay Bryan 

      5 years ago

      Bill, you must get your wisdom from your dad. :) Thank you for your approval; it means a great deal to me.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Donna, I was born and raised a Catholic, and then spent quite a few years trying to deny it. LOL I always think back to something my dad once told me...."in war, there are no atheists in the foxhole." I tend to believe he is right. :) Well done my friend.

    • profile image

      Rayne123 

      5 years ago

      Great hub, beautiful words, I love the praying hands picture.

      The best method of prayer is just like you said, say whatever is on your mind and tell all to him.

      God already knows what we want/need he just wants to have conversations so he is not sitting up there alone all by himself.

      He will answer

      Blessings

      Laurie

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)