In the past, I used to believe that God only wanted to hear from me in formally structured prayers that were prayed in some ritualistic type of way, always under the assumption that I needed to speak to God in a manner that St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine would offer up their prayers in their most famous works. At other times I would recite the Psalms word for word to be legitimately heard by God, as if He only cared about his holy servants thousands of years ago and not His present ones. This became all too predictable and formulaic after a while, and isn’t God really looking to hear from our own hearts what is troubling us anyway? We all have a unique voice with a diverse set of experiences that long to be in conversation with our Lord, so why not tell Him? Sometimes there’s the mystic in me when I pray, one who is always looking for some revelation to descend from the heavens and bathe me in divine light, providing a solution to the problems that I’m currently facing. Why not let my heart just be still and listen for the simple breath of God envelope me in a cocoon of silence rather than look for a visible sign or a Hollywood production? The good news is my prayer life is evolving as time marches on, for I find myself praying more simply or not even using words at all, letting my experiences do all the talking, which never would have happened years ago. Finally, my ultimate goal in my prayer life is to get to the point where I can pray without ceasing, instead of just praying at proscribed times of the day, and allow the non-verbal vibrations flow from my heart into the loving ears of our Lord and Savior.
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