Our Thoughts on Prayer

When I pray, I try to be as honest and humble as I can be. I try not to approach God as if I have special problems that are more important than anyone else’s. I try to say, “I need help, please help me,” and “Please help my loved ones,” and “Please help us all.” My interpretation of how Jesus instructs us to pray is that he asks us to be direct, to say what we mean. But I also try not to make any attempt to manipulate God because, like anyone else, I can’t presume to be special enough to do so. I am one of the created ones, a child, not Creator. To put it mildly, I am one of many. So, I try to learn from Jesus (as he asks at the end of Matthew II), for he is gentle and lowly in heart. The more I can be like Jesus in this way, the more my praying helps me. Beyond that is beyond my understanding. – Jim

Jim and I have been part of the Prayer Group for about three years. At first, I was unsure about praying—every week at church I prayed the Lord’s Prayer, but otherwise did not have a prayer life. I began to learn that opening my heart to God and humbling myself before him was the pathway to prayer for me. I knew he could hear me even if I had no words.

At home, I pray a “Thank You, Lord,” prayer. It’s a way of counting my blessings and not focusing on worry. I begin by sitting down and closing my eyes. 

Then I thank God:

The sky is bright blue today.
Thank you, Lord.
We have kind and helpful neighbors.
Thank you, Lord.
My sister’s CAT scans have been negative.
Thank you, Lord.
We have the most beautiful little grand niece.
Thank you, Lord.
I attend a yoga class—the teacher is kind and helpful.
Thank you, Lord.

As I thank God for my blessings, I realize the list is infinite. 

Jim and Fran Manos