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New to Faith and not sure how to pray


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As it says above! I've intro'd myself in the intro thread so won't go into that again. Basically I am looking for a daily practice but have not found one yet. Contemplation/Prayer is something I need to incorporate but not sure how or what form this would take. 

Would be great to hear about other people's practice or any advice! 

Thanks!

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8 minutes ago, Tarquin said:

As it says above! I've intro'd myself in the intro thread so won't go into that again. Basically I am looking for a daily practice but have not found one yet. Contemplation/Prayer is something I need to incorporate but not sure how or what form this would take. 

Would be great to hear about other people's practice or any advice! 

Thanks!

I’m practicing 20 minutes a day meditation through the app ‘1 Giant Mind’ and finding it amazingly beneficial.

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3 hours ago, Tarquin said:

As it says above! I've intro'd myself in the intro thread so won't go into that again. Basically I am looking for a daily practice but have not found one yet. Contemplation/Prayer is something I need to incorporate but not sure how or what form this would take. 

Would be great to hear about other people's practice or any advice! 

Thanks!

I pray to be given the eyes to see and the ears to hear.  I also pray for mercy.

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My life is a continuous prayer. I cannot separate myself from God no matter how hard i have tried in the past.

Definition of Prayer = a spiritual communion with God 

The only separation between you and me and God is in your mind that perishes with the using.  You can quote me on that. 🙂

Joseph.

 

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On 7/25/2020 at 6:35 AM, PaulS said:

Would be great to hear about other people's practice or any advice! 

Not so much something I consider a practice but mine in a continual and lifelong awareness, consideration and, at times, 'conversation' with 'God.'

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I myself try to stay in touch with God as much as possible, and just try to feel Es presence as I go through my day.

There are a few Christian groups that think of work and just doing stuff as a form of prayer. I like and agree with their concept(s). It also helps me to not rush too much, which is something that I need to work on.

Hope you find a way of praying that works for you.

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  • 2 months later...

I'm a bit of the armchair contemplative. I think listening for God in the silence helps me to pay attention to the Divine Movement all around throughout my day. This attentiveness is the primary form that prayer takes in my life. 

If you are looking for something practical, you might like this site: http://www.carmelites.net/daily-disconnect-podcast/

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8 hours ago, irreverance said:

I'm a bit of the armchair contemplative. I think listening for God in the silence helps me to pay attention to the Divine Movement all around throughout my day. This attentiveness is the primary form that prayer takes in my life. 

If you are looking for something practical, you might like this site: http://www.carmelites.net/daily-disconnect-podcast/

Interesting, I haven't thought of Carmelites in decades.

I do like your idea of 'God in the silence.'

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  • 3 months later...

I too am a meditator, not a verbal prayer. 

I come from the Buddhist angle of spirituality, which is to move away from conscious thought in order to connect with a higher state. That's where I find my spirituality. 

If I use words, I'm just talking to myself. 

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 I  use the spoken word which is a very powerful tool to change conditions in myself or the world . Since everything is energy as Einstein proved  when we speak something we are sending out  a energy impulse of a higher frequency to overcome all negative energy . God said , " Let there be light "  There are many useful affirmations , invocations out there depending on what conditions you want to change in yourself or the world . I also try and still the mind everyday which helps .

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  • 4 weeks later...

I was a camp counselor at a Bible Camp, and one week, had campers that told me they didn't know how to pray. I was confused. I remembwr having long talks with God as early as 4. So what I heard was, I don't know how to have a conversation. 

There is a strange misunderstanding that you have to say some magic words you may not understand, like "grace" or "countenance" and use old English, putting -eth on your words. 

None of this is necessary. I would recommend having the Holy Spirit teach you, but basically, I have a conversation, and like any conversation, speak, and then allow God to speak (usually comes as a thought). Sometimes it's a dialogue. Sometimes, I pray, "God, I know you ask me to turn the other cheek, to forgive, to pray for our enemies  but if you want that love, put it in my heart, because I don't have it, and right now, wouldn't brake if they were crossing the street."

There are no rules. Be honest. Be open. And listen for a response. It may come as a thought, through the words of a friend, but it will come. 

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I used to be heavily involved as a teenager with an evangelical para-church organization called the Navigators. For a confused adolescent, it supplied context, comradeship, direction, much like being a member of a street gang, or the Hitler Youth. We were the shock troops of God’s Army. The military analogies were often made explicit. I remember a week-long Bible study and leadership conference where the climax at the end was an all-night prayer session, in the manner that a medieval squire underwent in church before taking his vows the next day and being knighted. Praying for a few minutes, or even an hour or so, was one thing. But all night? How much is there to say? And how do you actually know you’re hearing the voice of God rather than your own? It’s not like anyone else in the room could hear Her talking to you. I couldn’t make the cut. Later I came across one of the wonderful Sufi poets, Rumi, whose words back in the thirteenth century summed up my experience:

 So what do I have to do to get you to admit who is speaking?

Admit it and change everything!

This is your own voice echoing off the walls of God.

I've kind of lost touch since.

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  • 1 month later...

This is not said in hate or aggression, just a legitimate question... given what you folks say you do NOT believe, why do you call this Progressive Christianity? What about Christian faith do you agree to? In regard to daily prayer, I spent about a year praying the prayer of St. Francis every night before bed. Regardless of whether you believe it was really written by St. Francis, or whether you believe there are saints, the words I prayed changed me for life. I recommend that if you do not know what to pray, try this. Focus on each and every word like a pebble dropped in a clear pool, watching the ripples as they emanate outward into your consciousness and eventually into your life mission. 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying (**some say it is in "dying to self" **)that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

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What do I believe in?

I believe that every single human being deserves love and compassion from every other human being. I believe that that's the main message from Jesus. 

The more connected each of us feels to all others, the more we can tap in to the compassion that allows us to love even those who hurt us. 

That's why I don't pray to God as a discrete, superior being. That's not how I conceptualize the divine, which is why I don't talk in my prayers. My concept of God or divinity is aligned with parts of many different religions and forms of spirituality. 

I identify with Christianity because of Christ, because the general message from Jesus resonates with me. That's probably just because that's what I was raised with. Had I grown up in Afghanistan, it would probably be Islam that I most identify with. 

I don't really subscribe to any version of faith that any human or human organization dictates to me. I don't believe that one particular religious group has it right and all the others have it wrong. I believe that the religions of the world, at their inception tapped into the realm of the divine and did their awkward, human best to interpret it. And then societies did what they do best: perverted those messages into tools of power. 

Religious organizations are very, very human, so I interpret most of it as a lense through which to view the world, not sources of authority or absolute truth. 

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On 4/12/2021 at 12:49 AM, Anona Maus said:

This is not said in hate or aggression, just a legitimate question... given what you folks say you do NOT believe, why do you call this Progressive Christianity? What about Christian faith do you agree to?

Personally, I like the good bits of the Christian faith that try to encourage love for all, forgiveness of others, less judgement of our fellow humans, and peace in general.

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On 4/11/2021 at 5:49 PM, Anona Maus said:

Regardless of whether you believe it was really written by St. Francis, or whether you believe there are saints, the words I prayed changed me for life.

I think that sums it up. Prayer works, across all traditions.

I think of life crudely like a soap bubble. It materializes out of space-time foam and floats free, like a feather on the breath of God. For a fleeting second, threads of biology, history, culture are knitted together by personality. We have this microscopic moment to enjoy, and through a few simple actions hope to leave the world a fraction better than we found it. The actions are hopefully defined by love, which represents the fullest form of self-awareness that we know of.

Developing this is cultivating a state of mind we call prayer. As the sacred scriptures of Zoroastrianism say, the world's oldest major religious tradition (in the sense of being "organized", in terms of beliefs and structures, so distinct from paganism, shamanism etc): 

Prayer is the greatest of all spells, the best healing of all remedies.

Zend Advesta

I guess prayer is neither an offshoot into fantasy, nor a conversation with a God out there in our own image, but is perhaps the most basic way of thinking, an internal dialogue between the two hemispheres of the brain. The right half is artistic/creative, the left more academic/logical. Both are needed to create our picture of reality. We dialogue between the two, between the God we might believe has helped bring us into being, and can help us achieve the impossible, and the knowledge that we’re just basically chimps who’ve bootstrapped themselves up out of their comfort zone. We go back and forth between the two halves to find the best course of action, questioning who we are, and where we’re going. Seeking guidance from our better self. Sitting in silence, paying attention to our thoughts, we can see them generating our feelings, our emotions. These are not physically real, they don’t “exist,” but they create our reality, they prompt our actions. They put us in touch with the creative life force behind us, behind everything. Hey, I’m hopeless at this, we all struggle with it, but it’s what being human is about. We’re messed up, confused animals, trying to get to the next step. Sometimes we even prefer our pets to other people. They don’t have our kind of problems.

Mind you, it doesn't work for me....when many decades ago I lost the sense of being able to talk to God directly (or Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, in my wilder moments, could never actually figure out which one it was meant to be), I lost something which I've never got back. I envy my relatives who do pray, know who they're praying to, and believe their prayers will be answered. But there's a quote from Eckhart -  “Truth is something so noble that if God could turn aside from it, I could keep the truth and let God go.”

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