The Big Deal About Praying the Right Way

By Rachel Britton

Photo by Christopher Martyn

Photo by Christopher Martyn

THE BIG QUESTION:

“Does prayer really work? Because sometimes it feels like we’re hammering fists on a locked door...”

OR

“Is it just a religious ritual to make us feel better?”

BEEN THERE, ASKED THAT

People of many different religions pray, and in different ways, too. And for most, there are certain elements necessary for prayer — postures to be taken, words to be used. Someone once criticized my prayers. I didn’t end them in the right way, she said. There are also revered locations for prayer, directions to be faced, or certain times of the day that are better than others. Every religion has its nuances to follow. Yet, surely the power is not in the traditions?

GO ON

What if there’s a more radical way of thinking about prayer? A way that brings refreshment and a positive change. When we turn prayer into a ritual, it becomes pretty boring and tedious. What if we focused less on the practices and customs of prayer, and more on the one to whom we pray?

So, who do we pray to? We can pray to many different “beings” out there — the universe, the energy, our higher self, or to God. We can pray to the One who promises to enter into our worlds — our moments right now — rather than hoping our prayers went “up” somewhere to where they’d have an effect.

SO WHAT’S THE TRUTH?

The God of the Bible always comes to be with people. In the early parts of its history, people appointed as priests had to do some pretty unusual ceremonial rites when they wanted to talk to God. Ordinary men and women were barred from being in his presence. Then it all changed.

God sent his Son, Jesus, who gave us free access to God and his power. You and I don’t have to go through any rituals or sacrifices. We can just step right up — boldly. God invites us to do that very thing.

Jesus holds the key to that door. When we pray believing Jesus is the One who has authority to open the door and give us access to God, power is released and positive change happens.

GETTING THE TRUTH INSIDE US

Jesus came close to them and said, “All the authority of the universe has been given to me.”

Jesus said, “I am the path, the truth, and the energy of life.”

“The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us.”

THE RADIANT WOMAN: Knows the power of prayer.