What is the biggest calling we have been giving as human beings? To have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Relationships are built on communication and interaction. When it comes to God, another word for that is prayer. It is such an essential part of our lives as Catholics. No wonder the devil is trying so hard to keep us from it. He knows the impact and power of prayer.
Lies I’ve Believed about Prayer
One of the biggest lies the devil has told me about prayer is that prayer is something you read from a book and recite in a church. I associated prayer with something unattractive, impersonal, and ritual. It was something I had to do instead of something I wanted to do.
However, God gracefully showed me how wrong I was to believe that lie. He helped me to get back to the root of prayer.
Prayer is simply a conversation with Someone who loves you more than you can imagine. How can we not desire that?
5 Unexpected Ways to Pray
I think it is important to find your own unique way to connect with your Savior. Here are five unexpected ways that God taught me to pray.
1. Quality Time
I love the book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. One of the five love languages is quality time. This means that we show love and receive love by spending time together.
I love to pray this way when I get caught up in the lie that prayer has to be productive. A friend once told me that Adoration is nothing else than two lovers looking at each other and enjoying each other’s company.
I think it is a beautiful way to explain what prayer really is. To just simply be, not feeling the pressure of having to use words. Personally, I love to do this in Adoration. But this quality time can be in a park, in your room, any place that you would want to go with someone you love to just enjoy their presence.
When I don’t know how to pray, I always find comfort in Jesus telling me that there is no such thing as unsuccessful prayer.There is no such thing as unsuccessful prayer. #BISblog // Click To Tweet
2. Understanding Your Desires
I found that God really speaks to me more clearly than I thought. I fell into the trap of thinking that His voice is somewhere far away, and I have to be really attentive, really patient to try hard to hear His voice.
Our God desires communion with us, so why would we make it as hard as possible to hear His voice? St. Paul reminds us that “we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16). Let us not be afraid to understand our own desires. Sometimes we are hiding them from ourselves because we are afraid of the disappointment when they will not be fulfilled. Take courageous step into trusting a God that answers our prayers and ask yourself today, “What is it that I really desire?”
Take your time and allow yourself to answer boldly and bring those answers to God. Let Him show you how He wants to fulfill them.
3. Pray with How You Dress
God revealed to me this summer that the way I dress really does matter. He has called me out on ways I dressed in the past, but in a way I did not expect. I would imagine Him to say to me “Anna, that’s too short, Catholics shouldn’t wear something like that.” That’s the stereotype.
However, His voice was completely different, it was more like, “Anna, you are made for so much more. I want you to dress you as the queen you are in my eyes”.
He put a desire on my heart to pick out outfits with Him, and when I go shopping to invite Him and ask for His guidance. I promise you, His guidance is pure love.
In the beginning of summer, my mom bought me this beautiful navy blue linen dress that I have been wearing almost every day since. The first time I wore it, it suddenly hit me that if our Blessed Virgin Mary lived today, she would totally wear it. It reminds me so much of her. So, every time I wear that dress, simply wearing it is a way of prayer for me. Wearing it is a way to ask for Mary’s intercession and for her to remind to live out my fiat.
4. “Jesus, this is for You.”
In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 we are called to “pray without ceasing.” The first time I heard this verse, I thought, “That’s too hard.”
However, that only reflects my limited understanding of what prayer is. Any act can be a prayer. It is so easy, yet I so often forget. You can do anything and offer it up.
When you run, tell Jesus that this is for Him. When you cook, catch up with a friend, study, meet new people, work, sleep, travel, watch a movie, go shopping, are stuck in traffic, or get a haircut.
Our God desires to be with us in any situation. Just simply say “Jesus, this is for You,” and He will instantly be invited into whatever you are doing. That’s how we can pray without ceasing.
5. Just Look Around You
Pure presence in the moment sounds incredibly cliché. Yet as 21st Century people we struggle with it, don’t we? Living consciously and mindfully has become really hard in a world of distraction.
Look around and let your God speak to You. With time, He will show you through which surroundings He speaks most directly to your heart.
I love to observe families, especially the relationship between parents and their children. To me it is a pure reflection of how God is loving us with His fatherly love. What are you drawn to?
Maybe for you it’s nature, geography, sports, fashion, or food. Whatever your thing is, God can speak to you through it. Just be attentive and sense His presence.
Let’s Pray Now!
Holy Spirit, teach us to pray vibrantly, wholeheartedly, passionately, uniquely. Help us to worship You in ways You have not yet been worshipped before, Jesus. Let us sing a new song for You. Destroy any lie about prayer that we have been believing. Set our souls on fire for You and increase our desire to pray without ceasing. Amen.
What unexpected ways to pray have surprised you in your walk with the Lord?5 Unexpected Ways to Pray #BISblog // Click To Tweet
Anna Sørensen is a 20-something Psychology student currently studying in Ireland. She is from Denmark and Poland–probably because God already foreshadowed that she would appreciate the readings of both St. Faustinas and Søren Kierkegaard. Anna has a heart for empowering women and the Catholic Church. Her favorite things are Sundays, really dark chocolate, and the streets of Rome.