Thoughtful Praying

OK, I've been thinking about this for years. I'm finally going to blog about it. Hopefully it will jog some thinking in the lives of others the way it has in mine. I'm talking about those thought-less public prayers that often revolve around memorized phrases, or throw in the words, "Father", "Lord", "Dear Jesus" as punctiation. I think that quite often when people are called on to pray in public, they pray more for the hearing of the people in the room than for the audience of One. I also have a problem with the perfunctory prayer to open and close meetings. Not that it is a bad idea, but that it very seldom means anything except to signify that the meeting is about to start or end.
I think that the privilege of prayer is not to be taken lightly. We are to give thought to what we pray. If that means writing it down before we lead in prayer, then so be it. I know, there are many people who hate the thought of a written prayer, but I'd much rather have a prayer that has invoked some thought than an "off the cuff" prayer that is comprised of words that we've said over and over without giving it any thought. (sorry for the run-on sentence)
When our kids were young, we decided not to teach them the traditional "God is good, God is great" blessings at meal times. We encouraged them to create their own prayers. They did; and then memorized them and repeated them over and over. We are creatures of habit even when it comes to prayer. I've noticed the same thing about my blessings today, and I'm 70 years old. Well no more! I'm dedicated to putting thought into every prayer I pray from now on. When I approach the Father, I want Him to know that He has my full attention, and I'm not just fulfilling a perfunctory (I like that word) service.
Hopefully this will encourage you to give thought to your prayers as well. I'd love to hear your take on these ideas.

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