Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 New International Version (NIV)
There are a vast number of books, blogs and websites to help us with our prayers if we need them. And from time to time we all need help.
However, maybe I am being a bit too simple but it seems to me that we should regard our prayers as a conversation with our best friend. After all, that is what He is, isn’t He? I know that some people prefer to use the formal prayers they have learned over time and if that is what they are comfortable with then so be it. But we chat with our best friend in the ordinary language we use every day so why not speak to God in the same way? It is not disrespectful, after all He knows us far better than we know ourselves; so why not give it a try? After all, He will respond to us in a way we can understand.
Over a cup of coffee, at the bar or perhaps on the telephone we tell our best friend anything; share the good times as well as the bad. Moan and complain about all the problems we have, all the troubles we have to deal with. Perhaps ask for their advice or their help in dealing with a particularly difficult problem. That of course, requires us to listen to what he or she has to say.
It should be just the same with God. He is quite happy to listen to us and in fact invites us to take all our troubles to Him. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11.28 We need to thank Him for listening to us and we should thank Him too for all the good things He has done for us and given to us. He is after all Sovereign and Creator of the universe and we should praise Him for His majesty. We also need to confess those things we have done wrong or perhaps have not done which we should have done, as well as asking for His help to complete the tasks we have to do. All these things we can say in our own words. But there is one more thing to remember and that is that when we go into a cafe or a bar to chat to our best friend there is a lot of noise, people talking to one another so that it is sometimes difficult to make ourselves heard or to hear what our best friend is saying: we need a bit of peace and quiet. It must be that way too with our prayers; we must find a quiet place to speak to God and to listen to His response. Rest assured, He will listen to us and will tell us what He wants us to do and will help us along the way.
Of course, we do not need a telephone, a Face book account, a Twitter feed or an email address because He is always there with us, and it won’t cost us the price of a coffee either!
So what are we waiting for? He is there waiting for us to get in touch right now.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years