Many words have been written, and I have added to that verbose plethora on the subject. I’ve written about prayer technique, formulas, postures, and of course, a tidy system of balancing praise, thanks, confession, petition, and intercession.
Not that all of this is unimportant. Through the years I’ve learned that silence is vital to times of prayer and that in prayer my heart often follows my posture. You may use eloquent words, deep theological truths…and none of this is necessarily bad if offered from the heart. I continue to believe that there is no wrong way to pray.
Raymond Chandler, British detective fiction writer, said, “Technique alone is never enough; you have to have passion. Technique alone is just an embroidered potholder.”
I realize he wasn’t talking about my prayer life, but the principle is true, nonetheless. We live in a world where we can be passionate about cinema, sports, literature, or our careers, but we either grow silent or become offended when religious passion enters the scene.
What is that unnatural movement of my soul that is the result of unconditional love without reason? Hard to define isn’t it? I know it when it takes over and consumes me; and I know what the lack of it feels like as well. Some of my more passionate times with the LORD have been during less structured prayer times.
My daughter shared a story with me of 9-year old Joseph Bessey who drew a picture of prayer. (What would you draw? How do you draw prayer?) In addition to the sun and trees, he drew comic strip bubbles representing conversation between himself and God. The conversation went like this—Joseph: “I love You, God.” God: “I love you, Joseph.” No technique potholders here.