Our Father, Who Art in Heaven …

A main aspect of many religions is prayer. This is also an aspect of religion that many people have the most trouble with. Prayer does not come naturally to many people. But there doesn’t have to be a lot of pressure to pray “right.” The main thing is to pray the right way for you.

From the Heart
As you’re praying, focus on what’s nagging on your mind. Pray about your concerns and joys. Pray about friends or family members that are in trouble. Pray about that secret thought you don’t want to share. Anything at all that is on your brain is something good to share with God. It doesn’t matter how big or small. If it matters to you, it matters to God.

What Others Think
Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks of your prayer, whether it’s out loud or silent. Prayer, though often practiced in groups, is a private conversation between you and God. It isn’t important if others approve of your prayer or not. You’re not being graded, and it’s not a contest. It’s you and God communicating. No judgment needed.

Thank God
A good thing to do while praying is to thank God for the blessings in your life. Think how good it feels to have someone give you sincere thanks. That same kind of thankfulness brings a smile to God’s hypothetical face. Even when life is hard and all seems lost, try to find something to thank God for. It will make you feel a little better, and my guess is that it will please God.

Let it Go
Did you know that the definition of amen, a common prayer ending, is “so be it?” As you pray, give your troubles to God. Don’t continue to dwell on your worries. Let them go. In many religions, there are similar prayer endings. For example, a common prayer or service ending is “Namaste,” which is a word loosely meaning peace. Jewish and Islamic religions also have similar prayer endings. In any religion, prayer can help you release worries.

Be at Peace
A related act to prayer is meditation. In the midst of prayer, have some silence. Just allow yourself to be still, to be at peace. Allow the spirit of God to enter into you and help you to find calm. Simply relax and breath and calm your mind. Be at peace.

Prayer can be difficult sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be. Prayer is personal. It’s reflective. It’s different for each person. Make your prayers your own, and they will come to you more easily.

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