How Do You Pray?
A spiritual look at issues of interest to young people
One day after school, I asked my aunt the question "How do you pray?" She thought about it for a minute and gave me some really good ideas as she was ironing clothes.
She told me that the Bible teaches us about God and how to pray. It shows us that God is good. Because God is Mind, He makes ideas. We're His idea, and He loves us very much. He made us as His spiritual image, or reflection. He loves everything He made. Flowers, trees, and all plants that grow, rabbits, squirrels, birds, and all animals are really God's ideas.
God is unlimited intelligence, and all good ideas come from Him. Unlimited means no walls or boundaries. All the useful things people invent, like airplanes, telephones, and computers, are proofs that we express God's intelligence because we are His image.
When I pray, I love to think about this: God is perfect. This is a wonderful thing because it means God includes everything good that there is or can be. He is completely good, not missing any quality that is needed. What's wonderful, too, is that when we pray, we find out that God has made us perfect, like Him. We're spiritual, and we're complete, like Him - that is, we're not missing anything we need. All of our ability comes from God. In my prayer, I think about how we have ability from God to do or learn anything we need to. Understanding that we're made by God helps us to do better in school, in sports, and in everything.
To me, prayer also is thinking about God caring for His children, for you and me. When people care for you, they see to it that you feel loved and that you do the right thing. They teach you the things that help you grow. God helps us even more than this. The Bible says the love of God is all around us. The book of Jeremiah says, "The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: 'I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness' " (31:3, New International Version). This makes me think of God pulling us close to Him.
When I pray, I always tell bad feelings and thoughts, like sickness or unhappiness or anger, that they can't be here, because God is all around me. I like especially to think of God being so powerful and watching out for us all. So there is no room in you or me for thoughts that aren't like the good thoughts God gives.
Christ Jesus taught how to pray. He said: "When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." And he also said, "Your Father knows what you need before you ask him" (Matt. 6:6, 8, New International Version).
Being good is a way of praying all the time. When we think good thoughts and when we are really trying to do things that are right, this is praying. God helps us to think good thoughts and to treat other people right. We can make a promise to ourselves to pray this way to God. The textbook of Christian Science gives a good promise we can make that will help us every day: "And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 497).
Here's a list I've made about how to pray. Maybe you can add to it! "When I pray ..."
* "... I think of what I know about God."
* "... I remember how much God loves me and everyone."
* "... I don't just ask for things; I remember that God gives all His children all they need - because He made us perfect."
* "... I know that nothing bad can come near me, because God is all around me."
* "... I try always to think good thoughts and do good to others."
How do you pray?