When I was a little girl I always believed that to talk to God you must kneel at the edge of the bed with your hands clapped together and your eyes firmly shut. As I grew older I prayed in church, with my parents before bed and when I was in trouble.
I was so used to conventional ways or praying that I hadn't grasped the essence of praying- spending time with God.
For a long time I talked to God as Simba talked to Mufasa in the Sky (The Lion King) as he was far away in the heavens. What I didn't fully understand was that God really is with me always in all my thoughts, minutes and days and this realisation started my God conversation.
My prayer life now is similar to an instant messaging conversation. I talk to God all day, every day and about everything. Thanking him for all the blessings in my life, crying out in times and need and just asking questions. A struggle is making sure I'm praising and not just seeking when I need something.
As Paul writes in the letters to the Philippians he says in chapter 4 verses 6 and 7, 'Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.'
I believe praying is an act of humility. It's me saying to God, 'Hey, I actually don't know what to do anymore. I can't do by myself but through you, I know all things are possible.' When I don't do Gods way and try to do things in my own strength and this will never succeed. In Proverbs chapter three verse five it talks about leaning not on our own strength but putting all trust in God.
Friends often ask what it's like when I talk to God and if I really hear his voice and I've often found it hard to put it into words that will make them understand. Often I say I just talk to God like I talk to a friend but I explain that it is really so much more because when I talk to God, there's no waffle or small talk in the conversation, it's real. He knows all my thoughts and he knows my heart- it's the most intimate relationship anyone can have.
In Proverbs Chapter 4 verse 23 it says, 'Be very careful what you think, your thoughts run your life.' How you think about things can affect your outlook on life, whether it is positive or negative, your attitudes towards others and your behaviour in everyday life.
I often find that my thoughts can even affect my prayer life and limit my communication with God. But God doesn't want this, he instructs us to pray as it draws us closer to him. Communication is a natural part of life and something many of us depend on for our normal lives to function and so is the same with God, when we don't talk to God, we begin to feel disconnected from God.
In Matthew chapter 26 verse 41 it says, 'Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For through the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!".
Joelle Bautista is a Journalism student of the New Zealand Broadcasting School based in Christchurch. She enjoys writing, talking and playing sport. Born and raised in the Church, her love for God grows increasingly by the day.
Joelle Bautista's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/joelle-bautista.html