We welcome a new guest blogger today, Brenda Leyland. Thank you Brenda for sharing your story about prayer.
How I Learned to Pray
I was shocked to rattle the memory bank for recollections of my earliest prayers, only to find that I could not remember any from my childhood, other than the little prayer we used to say before meal time – Come Lord Jesus, be our guest and let this food to us be blessed.
Having been born into a practicing Christian family, that insight amazed me. Every night, I saw Mom and Dad kneel by their beds to pray, and often wondered what they whispered with heads bowed and elbows on the bed. I heard many people pray during church services, usually the long drawn out versions, the kind that, as a kid, made me want to yawn with boredom.
Yet I cannot recall ever praying personally as a little girl.
I was aware of God but I didn’t clue in that I could talk to Him. I knew prayer was part of being Christian, but somehow I think I picked up the idea that following God was an adult thing – so perhaps I thought prayer was for grown-ups too.
But things changed after I got born again as a young teen during a summer camp meeting. With such a new thirst in my heart for God, I found myself kneeling one day beside my own bed, right in the middle of a warm summer afternoon. I was so desperate to experience for myself what I’d heard the old timers talk about…God showing up in a swirl of Holy Ghost wind and tongues of fire…that I was willing to leave the fun outside to seek Him.
Suddenly I wanted to attend prayer meetings with my parents, where the gathered faithful ones were often encouraged to add their individual voices to petitions going up. Some prayed so eloquently, so entreatingly, so assuredly, that I felt nervous to add my own faltering thoughts. But as I listened I caught the ‘lingo’, and one day, still nervous, I too prayed out loud.
At that point, I little realized that prayer wasn’t meant to be polished,|
it was meant to come from the heart,
however simply or tangled the words came out. (Tweet this.)
Prayer was to be the heart of a young daughter pouring out her burdens and joys to a listening, loving Father. Thankfully, Brenda learned along the way.
One of Brenda’s greatest joys is to pray with and for other people. Her heart frequently whispers blessings for those she encounters throughout her day. And, for those times when she doesn’t know what to ask for, it’s oft a simple cry for mercy, grace and ‘on earth as it is in heaven’. Ever on the lookout for glimpses of heaven in unexpected places, she write about them on her blog, It’s A Beautiful Life.