21 Days of Prayer — January 13 to February 3
This month we are featuring interviews with SunRidgers highlighting their understanding and perspectives on prayer…
Who introduced you to prayer and how has your prayer life grown and changed over the years?
My parents introduced me to prayer when I was really young and I was quite comfortable talking to God on my own. I felt free to a continuous dialogue with Him and certainly had a lot to say. I felt like I could talk to Jesus like a friend.
We were Mormon and the out-loud prayers were more of a scripted prayer and I often felt uncomfortable praying out loud because I was embarrassed to say something incorrectly--especially at church or with my grandparents. There was a lot of pressure to have the right words and tone! It is likely I put this on myself…I do that.
When we left the Mormon church (age 6ish) it was quite upsetting and did not feel comfortable praying anymore. Our lives changed for a lot of reasons and I believed terrible things were happening because we left and I felt ashamed to pray. It is hard to explain what that is like other than a darkened quiet...I don't know, maybe that sounds too dramatic. It was quite confusing. My parents and I eventually became Christians but there was a long road to actually get there and we didn’t all get there at the same time. There are so many reasons why praying was such a complex issue for me as a newer believer (that I obviously won’t get into in this questionnaire!) but I no longer feel ashamed to pray and feel much closer to God for it. The dialogue with God throughout the day is how I get through difficult days and find joy in those and the other ones.
If someone were to ask you why you pray, what would you say?
I pray because I believe that God wants to hear from me and cares about what I care about. -Praying helps me sort out what is going on in my head.
What are you learning about prayer?
Praying is really quite simple.
Thanking God throughout the day has helped me to have a more grateful heart.
Praying like I did as a child makes me feel closer to God so I no longer complicate my praying...I just talk.
Why do you think it is important to gather and pray together as a community?
Praying as a group is not something that has come naturally to me. I much prefer to pray on my own but the older I get the more comfortable I am with it (not that I think I have to be comfortable all the time). It has only been in the last 4 or 5 years that I have been okay closing my eyes in public so I think this has a lot to do with it. I know...it is really weird… The solidarity of gathering to pray and caring for the people in our community and what they care about is something I understand though.
Matthew 18:20For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”