I read some of your stuff on prayer - but let me get real personal -- I don't get it. You know we get together and make a list of as many prayer requests as we can think of and then go about praying in turn for each one. Also praying before meals - it just seems to be so mindless - you know 'bless us O Lord for this food and make us truly grateful, amen.' Some people can go on and on and it seems like they are in a trance. Others speak in tongues. Our pastor prays with his wife for about two hours per day and claims to be entering the very throne of God. Jesus prayed lots. Can I be personal - tell me about your prayer life. Bob
Prayer ... prayer ... hmmm now, what did I say about prayer??!! Haha! Okay, I had to go read what I wrote in the Q&A section (I'm assuming that's where you found it). Yeah, I sure don't establish any recognizable form of a prayer life in those responses, do I? Hahaha! MY prayer life, you ask? Uh, um, well, let's see, I don't even think I have a prayer life. You know, it sounds more like an elective course offered in college: Prayer-Life, 101
...entering the very throne of God
Yeah, I vividly remember trying to visualize my prayers as being addressed to God as if He were sitting in the chair next to me. But the point is that I was trying to make this happen. It felt so religious I almost couldn't stand it, but I thought I was supposed to be able to pray with such confidence! The truth is that I didn't, and still don't know how to pray as I ought.
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:26-28
There it is. I count on God's Spirit to interpret the desires of my heart — for it is one with Christ. The fact is that we are already IN the throne room of God all day, every day. From within my heart — that new one created in Christ — I am always in communion and communication with God. As I grow in this confidence I am recognizing how much a part of my life this is. Here I was trying to make this prayer-thing happen, and it had been already happening. To have thought that my praying caused me to enter God's throne only conflicted with the work of Christ in having already done it for me!
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
There is no suggestion in this statement that by an activity known as prayer one can enter the throne of grace. As a matter of fact it has nothing to do with entering God's throne of grace. No, we're already there, but legal ramifications can cause us to draw back in fear as if we have no right to be there. And that's what Hebrews was all about as those born of God from among the Jews were being intimidated by those who demanded an adherence to the old ways of the law. Their right to be there was Jesus, the one who had already been sacrificed once and for all on the altar of God.
You know, sometimes I've heard prayers coming out of me in the midst of a good complaining or whining session, or other times in hearing the wonder in my heart from one thing or another. I often hear prayers being expressed during the course of a conversation or a letter being written. I don't pray before meals except on a rare occasion, for I agree with you that it is mostly a mindless habit. I don't need the excuse of another language by which to communicate with God.
If you followed me around you would probably conclude that I don't pray, and that would be fine by me. For if prayer was this thing we did, this ritual or habit we developed by which God might be accessed then you can count me out. For me, I will count on His working in me, and I will find encouragement in the knowing that His Spirit doesn't stop interpreting the incomprehensible desires of Christ in me.
Well, there's my prayer life for ya!