With me prayer is an uplifting of the heart; a glance towards heaven; a cry of gratitude and love, uttered equally in sorrow and in joy. In a word, it is something noble, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites it with God. – St. Therese of Lisieux

art credit: Albrecht Durer – Praying Hands, 1508

 Is there a hard and fast rule for praying? Does God require me to pray everyday, at certain times of the day and/or for a specific length of time? Religiously speaking, I believe the answer to be yes to both questions. However, Spiritually speaking, I believe the answer to be a resounding No.

Some religions do require their faithful to pray in a certain way, at a certain time, and so on. And, that’s fine – humans are notoriously inept at adhering to anything without a list of rules. And rules are comforting to some, but to others they are a hindrance. For those of us who belong to the ‘other’ group of people, prayer is what you make of it whenever you make it.

Prayer is speaking and listening. Prayer is vocal and silent. Prayer is where we communicate with God and He /She, in His Infinite Wisdom, knows exactly what to say and how to say it. Some hear God from the pulpit or through the Bible. I hear God through nature and inspirational writings. 

How you pray is between you and God, as is how He responds. And as St. Therese so eloquently put it, prayer “expands my soul and unites it with God.”

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