P.R.A.Y.I.N.G.<br/>Bringing Power and Purpose to Your Prayers

Author: Julie Cosgrove
Publisher: Cross Words Press
Published: 2009-11-18
ISBN(s) 9781257299959
Language(s): English
Category: Non-Fiction
Audience: Adult
Genre(s): Bible Study, Christianity, Art & Creativity Read Excerpt >




Is there a right way to pray?


 In my opinion, yes, and no. 

Max Lucado says in his pamphlet, Prayer, A Heavenly Invitation, Prayer is a window that God has placed in the walls of our world. Leave it shut and the world is a cold, dark house.  Throw back the curtains and see His light. Open the window and hear His voice.  Open the window of prayer and invoke the presence of God into your world.”Pg.1


For me, it is the way man communicates with God. BUT, It is only one of the ways God communicates with man. It is one of the windows. He may  also speak to us through the words of a hymn, or a Bible passage, or the profound common wisdom of a friend, written or spoken.  Sometimes through a child!


We hear the swoosh of the curtain, the creak of the sill and see the light piercing in - an answer, a comfort, a truth, or an  admonishment that drops us to our knees.  But sometimes, if we listen carefully, communication from God comes in the still quiet voice while we are in prayer.  Answer put in our brains from what we know has to be an outside source. Maybe, it comes just as a warm, caring feeling that surrounds us in peace - perhaps that is all the answer we seek.

Maybe it would be best to define what prayer is.  Google “what is prayer?” and you can get 68,200,000 responses. Don't have time to read them all? Don't worry. I didn't either. But I scanned quite a lot. Here are just a few:

Wordnet Web - the internet equivalent to Webster's Dictionary, states that it is “the act of communicating with a deity (especially as a petition or in adoration or contrition or thanksgiving).”

The Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry web site says this -“Prayer is the practice of the presence of God. It is the place where pride is abandoned, hope is lifted, and supplication is made.”

The WebBible™ defines prayer this way: Prayer is conversation with God; the intercourse of the soul with God, not in contemplation or meditation, but in direct address to him.”

The Roman Catholic catechism says Prayer is a form of communication, a way of talking to God or to the saints.”

The Greek Orthodox Church Archdiocese in America says  “Prayer is the way to renewal and spiritual life. Prayer is aliveness to God. Prayer is strength, refreshment, and joy.”

“Prayer makes your heart bigger until it is capable of containing the gift of God himself,” writes Mother Teresa.


Prayer is obviously a conversation with God.  But not all conversations are meaningful. Some are gibberish. Some are filled with words and thoughts but have no structure, no meaning.Surely you have had conversations with people and not really felt involved. Most likely it was at a social gathering where people mingled and spoke of trivial, surface things. It is as if all night you were listening to people talk mostly about themselves and not really caring a fig about you or your opinions, thoughts or needs. They definitely didn’t want your advice or wisdom. No meaningful insight allowed that would shift their thoughts off themselves, their kids or grandkids, cat, dog, hobbies, job or amusing anecdotes of life.  As far as they were concerned, your job was to politely smile, keep looking them in the eye as if they were the most important person in the room at the moment and keep uttering niceties like, “Uh, huh. I see. That's interesting.  Really.”  Words of empty fluff. Courteous responses that fueled their egos and kept them talking while all the time you are thinking about how to make a graceful exit.  When you finally do, you look back over your shoulder and they have lit onto some other poor soul, a bee to a flower, depositing their pollen of  prose.

Prayer should not be that type of conversation. And thank goodness, God has more patience than we do. Because, I think if we are honest about it, there are times when that is exactly what our prayers are. They are -

         All about us. Heal me, fix me, listen to me, love me, convince me I am good.

         All about others we care about. Heal him, give her the comeuppance she deserves, make him stop hurting me so much, make them listen, tell me they will be alright, protect her from harm.

        All about how unfair life is. Lord, why do I have to be fat when so and so isn't.  Why did you make me so dense? Or give me kinky thick hair. Or make me fall in love with a         person who abuses me . . .Again. Or take away my child or my parents or my spouse.

        All about what we want (that we think we need). Lord, I need $300 to pay the utilities   this month. Lord, I need a better job. Lord, tell me if this is the right choice I should make. God, give me a  good caring, honest mate. God, tell me it's okay to end my marriage.

You say, but wait - aren’t those prayers valid? Shouldn’t we pray for others? Shouldn’t  we pour out our hearts to God? Shouldn’t we come to Him with our needs, the desires of our hearts?

Well, yes. And No.

That is what this book is about.          

P.R.A.Y.I.N.G. ~ Bringing Power and Purpose to Your Prayers   by   Julie Cosgrove   |   See Bio >
This Bible study takes each letter in the word PRAYING and shows, through Scripture, how it is a type of prayer which can enrich your communication with God.

takes each of the letters in the word PRAYING and shows, by Biblical examples, how each is a form of prayer. Most people pray for others and their own needs, but that is just the I and the N. We need to also Praise God, Recount His blessings, Atone for our misdoings, Yield to His will and Glorify His name. A great Bible study for small groups, adutls and older teens.

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