I have joined an evening Bible Study Group partly to Better Myself and mostly to Get Out More. I have actually found it really inspiring and helpful to my meditation practice. We are studying the book of Acts, which was written by Luke. It is nice to have a look at this description of the very early church. We have discussed quite a few themes, and we keep coming back to prayer. This week our study questions asked us how do we pray in earnest.
Well, here goes. A rough guide.
Step 1. First you need to get yourself a problem. It can be "small," "big," an illness, a difficult person....anything which makes for a Very Stressful Time.
Step 2. Now, approach God in a frantic, can't-stand-this-a-minute-longer rant.
Step 3. Get a bit miffed that a.) you have to go through this and b.) NO ONE IS ANSWERING YOU!
Oddly, this rant will make you feel a teensy bit calmer after a few minutes. (The old getting it off your chest technique). Then you will be ready for ....
Step 4. ...wait for it....you will hear something...
Maybe God, maybe guides, angels....maybe your own inner wisdom.....but in the stillness the answer will come. Sometimes your answer will be quite direct. "You need to look after yourself." Sometimes it is a simple message such as "We are here for you." And sometimes it is a reminder. "Try turning this around." (This is a great technique. For instance when I was frantically praying I really NEED to know the truth here before I explode with the stress!!!! Turning it around means stopping and saying I know the truth. And quite often, you do. )
This is how I do it anyway. Easy right? Well there are a few things to keep in mind. You do not always get the answer you want. If an answer makes you afraid of taking action then it is most likely your ego, and not from Spirit. Basically, if you are not feeling absolutely loved and supported, then what you are hearing is not from GOD. And lastly, as with all relationships, you must remember that you cannot speak and listen at the same time.