In its most simple form, prayer is talking to God, the Lover of our souls.
Certainly studying the prayers of Scripture is helpful, learning what God has to say about prayer and delving into how the saints of both the Old and New Testaments prayed can enrich our prayer experience. Yet in some ways, I think these things are training wheels, meant to be taken off so that we can fly along unfettered on our bikes - the wind blowing in our face, a feeling of freedom.
I like to think of prayer as an opportunity to stop and talk to our Heavenly Father, our Papa, to climb up on His lap, to rest our heads on His chest while He wraps His strong arms around us and we spill the deepest parts of our heart and soul to Him. And He, He whispers in our ear, "Beloved, Beautiful, My Child" as He soothes and loves.
Sometimes our tiny fists pummel His chest as we plead for something we want. Sometimes tears flow as our hearts are grieved and broken. Sometimes we are celebrating some wonderful thing that has happened, some wonderful thing He has done. But the best times are those when we surrender and we just snuggle into His chest and we have a quiet conversation about our desires and His desires and we begin to see the path He has mapped out. We enter into His plan. We embrace it and we talk with Him about it - sometimes with great excitement, sometimes with fear and a pleading for faith, and sometimes with grief because the path ahead is painful. But, we are together. We are joined spirit to Spirit with the Lover of our souls and we are coming to know Him.
Prayer, in its most simple, and I think profound, form is talking to God, the Lover of our souls from a place of surrender and deep faith that God knows best. It is resting in His arms and entering into His will, joining Him in it, listening to His voice whisper in our ears and responding with love, surrender, and obedience.
What puzzles you about prayer?
When has prayer brought you closer to God?