Prayer often seems ominous. I’ve been fascinated by prayers since I was a preschooler. Talking to God, how can that be? What does that mean? I’ve read books about prayer by men and women who have understood prayer and accomplished great ministries and other achievements credited to their prayer life.

The first book I ever read on prayer was ‘What Happens When Women Pray” by Evelyn Christenson. It was life-changing for me and started me on the adventure of praying and improving my prayer life. It’s been many years since I read that book, and I have tried many prayer methods. I have enjoyed learning about prayer and spending time with God in focused moments. The hour-long prayer has always been my downfall. Rising early to spend an hour in a closed eye activity never went as planned.

I pray a lot now and usually throughout the day as schedule problems or stress arise. I pray when everything is going great and thank God for the good things in my day, like reflexes so I could catch the vase before it falls or that the spilled water never flowed to my essential papers.

Prayer changes completely when the topic is personal and crucial. Last summer, my son became very ill with Covid. He was taken from his local hospital to a larger hospital because he needed a ventilator. The larger hospital told me they had him on a ventilator at the highest setting, and he was not responding. The doctor could try two other things, but there was nothing they could do if they didn’t work. I went for a walk, and I prayed….begged God is a better description. After five days, he was off the ventilator, and in two more days, he transferred to a rehab hospital. God was wonderful! I had prayed, sang praise songs, and placed him “in God’s hands.” I was so happy when he came home and lived on his own again with the strength to fix his meals and do his laundry.

Now I felt like there was nothing I couldn’t accomplish through prayer. There have been many times I felt God had heard my prayers and answered miraculously over the years, but this was the best!

He also lost his job. He has been out of work for a year. And I have prayed for many job possibilities and interviews to no avail. He is very discouraged and frustrated, and so am I. I have prayed earnestly, sang praise songs, thanked God in advance, put him in God’s hands, and asked for the eyes of his heart to be open to see where God is guiding him. I have given pep talks and encouragement. I have prayed that God would show us what he wanted us to learn. What God is trying to teach us through this. Nothing.

I feel like my prayers never get past the ceiling. I think, sometimes, God is distant and maybe even uncaring, and I know that isn’t true. I know that God is good. He is for us and not against us. My son is His child. God loves and understands his needs. So why such a powerful answer to prayer last summer and nothing now? I know I’m not the only one who has felt this way.

Methods and formulas are not the answer. How would your loved ones feel if you only talked with them using a method or formula to ensure communication and that everything is covered? We can only imagine how that would go. So why use methods, formulas, or written prayers to talk with God?

I don’t know if I have the answer, but I did find a way to spend time with God that is more like spending time with a friend. I’m going to do just that. I was hoping you could go on this adventure with me. More on Wednesday.