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kept in His hands
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I think that if your only motivation for praying is hoping to receive something, you are likely going to be disappointed. Prayer is a long journey of listening and slowly becoming. I think the journey itself is the most important thing.

But that's a rather mysterious answer, isn't it? It's the sort of thing a person understands in hindsight. It's the kind of answer that might be true, but might not be helpful. Why don't I share with you some of my own more specific motivations for praying.

If I close my eyes and think about my own journey of prayer, here are some motivations that come to mind:

* I pray in obedience to Christ, who commanded us to pray. That's probably the bottom line for me. Jesus prayed a lot. All night sometimes. If I call myself a follower of Christ, I must become humble enough to do the same, even if I do not understand prayer. (And I do NOT understand it.)

* I pray out of a desire to communicate with the Creator of all that is. I have a desire to become more aware of the constant presence of God in the world. Yes, I have this crazy hope that praying might lead me in this direction. However, I'm not looking for quick fixes or even to feel good on some specific day. Even this very healthy desire can become an idol if I only pray to achieve some kind of enlightenment

* I pray to honestly express my desires for myself and for others. In this, I pray very much as a child would pray. What God does with these intercessions, I do not know. It doesn't seem important to me at this stage of the game.

* I pray because I am very small and the intelligence behind the universe is very large. Prayer is humbling, and proper humility is a good thing.

* I pray because I want to. I like it. Just today I sat before a beautiful fountain, listening and whispering small prayers. I enjoy praying, especially a contemplative and meditative sort of praying. I find it more relaxing now that I've quit thinking of prayer as a job or a chore.

If you desire to know about prayer, that desire is a wonderful place to start. You don't need manuals or instructions. Just sit quietly and be honest if and when you speak.

http://www.reallivepreacher.com
 

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I pray sometimes. Not as much as I should. I try not to be selfish when I pray, but sometimes I can't help it. I feel the most serenity when all I ask from God is that His will be done, because I know He only wants the best for me. Most of the time the best for me isn't what I want :)

I feel God's presence most when I am hurting. When I cry my body tingles all over like someone is holding me. I wish I could feel God's presence when I'm happy and not just when I'm hurting.
 

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"* I pray in obedience to Christ, who commanded us to pray. That's probably the bottom line for me. Jesus prayed a lot. All night sometimes. If I call myself a follower of Christ, I must become humble enough to do the same, even if I do not understand prayer. (And I do NOT understand it.)"

I need to remember this.
 
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