Until recently, my understanding of prayer has been quite misdirected. Unsure of where I adopted this philosophy, for me, prayer has always been quite a formal affair. I would go to a place filled with silence, gather my thoughts, begin with praise and pray to my Heavenly Father. My prayer would be well spoken, equal in the praise/request ratio and, at times, almost automated. Emotion never got the best of me during my encounters with Christ. I was composed. I was articulate. I did not ramble.
Fast forward to fall of 2009 when everything I knew about prayer went out the window. My younger brother was living in New York City and had decided that he was ready to relocate. With an adventurous personality, he took out for California…on foot! He found himself sleeping beside railroad tracks, hitching rides from strangers and freezing in the cold Virginia fall.
Naturally, I was a disaster. The fear and worry were almost too much to bear. With the recent death of my friend still lingering in my head, his demise was all I could fathom. I had no power. I had no say. There was absolutely nothing that I could do for him, with him or to him. God had placed me in a position where prayer was the only answer.
”And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” – NIV
Never before had I experienced such passion during prayer. I was expressive in my words, emotional in my petitions. Truly, I cried out with laments. I was begging others to pray on his behalf. I was – finally – praying without ceasing.
The season of his adventure was short. God brought him home on my birthday of last year. As hard as it was to admit my needs, God heard me. Instead of regulated and “appropriate” prayers, God responded to a suffering heart that fell before His feet. God moves most when faith outweighs formality.
I read once that there are times in life, that no matter what posture the body is in, the soul is on its knees.