I have had this thought lately that I read about prayer, talk about prayer, even write about prayer....but when it comes right down to it....I don't actually pray a lot. Oh sure, little sentence prayers as something comes up or I say someone will be in my prayers, but a REAL conversation like I'd have with a friend? It's been awhile.
I have come to the conclusion that I'm afraid that if I have a REAL conversation I'm going to find out things about myself that I really don't want to deal with. I've already come across these feelings when I read the Bible and there will be a verse or section that I really need to hear at that particular time. How many times has God been trying to get my attention for me to spend some time talking to him about my problems instead of talking about my problems? Then there is always the fear that I'll get what I ask for, what I think I want, and I'll find out it is not what I thought it would be.
So, I'm doing some research. Being afraid to talk to God is nothing new. It's mentioned in
Genesis 3:9-10 (New International Version)
9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"
10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."
Daniel was afraid when his prayers were answered by an angel. I like the rest of this verse...set your mind to gain understanding and humble yourself. Maybe that's the part I need to work on!
Daniel 10:12 (NIV)
12 Then he continued, "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.
From my favorite spiritual armor verses:
Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
God loves me so what am I afraid of? Anything He shows me will end up being for my own good. So, no matter what starts to get in the way, I'm going to pray anyway!
Some resources I found:
ACTS, Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication (praying for others) some good info here http://www.crmin.org/prayerguide/acts_acrostic.htm
The 5 finger prayer http://biblestudyplanet.com/studies/s/s34.aspx (looks like some other cool info at this site too)