Yes, you read the title correctly... Prayer Style. And by style, I don't mean fashion - LOL, imagine if I did though: In order to pray, you need to wear this and this. K, I'm silly, enough of that.
A friend of mine said something to me last week: "You don't like to pray." Erm, que, wha, heh? The statement came out of a chat we were having. He mentioned a prayer retreat event coming up soon, and I told him I wasn't going to attend - not because I had plans already, but I just didn't really want to go. And then he made that comment. He continued by saying that he had noticed that during the prayer portion of church services, I wouldn't shout or be audibly speaking in tongues and proclaiming the blood of Jesus to rain fire and brimstone on my enemies... ok, I'm exaggerating but you get the point. I was slightly offended by the remark, because I felt like it was a judgment against me because I'd rather sit and pray quietly.
I've mentioned how I pray on this blog a few times. To me, to make it more personal, I pray like I'm simply having a conversation with God. I noticed that I talk to myself a lot, and decided to turn the things I say towards God instead. When I talk regularly, I'm more quiet than anything. People even say I sound like a child. The only times I get LOUD are when I'm angry. So I figure, if I'm not angry at God, why do I need to shout at/to Him? In my conversational, quiet style of praying, it helps me pray constantly because it's easy for me. I have spoken in tongues at some point in my life, much less so now. Not because I don't believe in it anymore. But in the church I went to in Boston, the bishop/pastor went with the doctrine and passage in the bible that called for interpretation when speaking in tongues. This has stayed with me, and even though I know that there are other verses that say speaking in tongues is the Holy Spirit speaking on your behalf, I haven't been comfortable doing it (aside from the guilt of sinning here and there).
So back to my friend. The same prayer retreat came up in discussion again, and I told him again that I didn't want to go, just because. His comment was "You don't want to pray?!" Erm, do I need to pray for 6 hours to show that I want or like to pray? Do I need to shout at the top of my voice to prove to God that I'm indeed praying? Must I get on my knees with tears streaming down my face, knotted eyebrows for people to believe I'm praying?
Is there anything wrong with my style of praying? I know God hears me, because He's answered me before. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking loud, warrior-chanting, mountain-falling, tongue-filled prayer. Hey, do you. I think God wants you to be free and honest with Him. If praying induces tears, cry out an ocean's worth of tears. If you want to shout, screeeeeeeeeeam so that the fish in the deepest darkest seas can hear you. And if my style is easygoing and conversational, what's so wrong with that? Obviously there have been those days where I cried out in pain to God. But that's not the norm for me, and I don't agree with the assertion that I don't like to pray.
All that being said, I just started the 'Teach Me to Pray' devotional on Youversion. One way or another, I'm going to find out myself what God says about praying.