1 March 2017
Before I came to faith, I wanted to get everything sorted in my head - before I tried anything crazy like praying.
But a friend of mine said that this was hopeless - I'd never 'get there' through my head alone. So I decided to take the plunge and have a go at this prayer thing.
And so I decided to pray and to be quite demanding in my prayers. I prayed fervently for the things I wanted, for the guidance I needed. But I also prayed that, most of all, I needed affirmation that God was there. I told him I wasn't going to waste my time praying to him, let alone give my life to him, if I wasn't sure he really did exist.
Amazingly (or, in hindsight, not so amazingly - as I've come to know God) I received some truly wonderful answers to prayer. I'll tell you more of these stories later.
But the thing is that now I know that prayer works. That prayer is always heard and answered. That everything we pray has an effect.
As I say, when I first started praying I gave my all to it - and somehow this seemed to suggest that I got down on my knees to pray.
I remember one day even bending forward and letting my forehead touch the floor, as I prayed. Something that I really do urge you to give a try - in private! It's a truly wonderful way to pray - but something that would, of course, attract a few stares in your average Church of England..
Sadly, these days I'm far less likely to kneel to pray, let alone prostrate myself. I've become a bit complacent about prayer and maybe, I have to admit, my heart is not always fully in my prayers, as it used to be. Sometimes negative thoughts creep into my mind as I pray, like 'I don't suppose there's any hope this prayer will be answered...'
So, this Lent my resolution is to let go of all negativity and to have forty days of praying with all my heart, mind, soul - and body!
I'm making a Lenten vow to either kneel or stand for every prayer I pray. So, if you catch me sitting and praying - I expect a stern ticking off!