All of my life, prayer has been something very mysterious to me. When I was a kid, it was just something I was SUPPOSED to do. And so every night I would say my prayers before I went to sleep. I would ask God to bless everyone in my family and keep the world from harm. As a teenager, I can remember kneeling at the communion rail and trying mightily to recount all of the "sins" I had committed - taking care to list each one for God. Those times were frustrating to me - especially the times when I just couldn't come up with anything to say. Surely I had done something wrong, committed some sort of horrible sin. It never occurred to me that God had it all covered. It wasn't about my fumbling words - it was about my heart. More importantly, it was about God's heart.
That's what prayer is. Communication between God's heart and your heart.
I don't know who said it but I like this quote: "We pray not to change God, but to change ourselves." If this is true - then we approach prayer with our ears and our hearts flung wide open to receive what God has to offer. We invite God into the deepest part of our lives and ask for transformation.
Every time I shut up long enough to actually listen to God, (this doesn't happen as often as I would like) - I hear something profound. And it always changes my perspective on life just enough to remember that God is in charge, not me. And that's a really good thing.
God's heart is big enough, loving enough, gracious enough and tender enough to hold all of our prayers. Each and every one. God knows your heart - and God wants you to know His heart as well. How are you opening yourself to God in prayer? Sometimes it starts by simply being quiet.