Tag Archives: Centering Prayer

The Skill of Prayer

when God talks backIn talking about prayer, we tend to think about it as something everyone can do without training. We tend to think about it as breathing…each person does it with out needing to learn anything.  And on one level, this is correct as God has put something deep within our soul that desires to connect with the Creator of Heaven and Earth. However,in the other hand, we need to recognize that prayer takes work.

In 1 Timothy 4:7-8, St. Paul says:

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

Just like we train our bodies to work, we have to train our spirits. Remember that goal of prayer is to get to know God better. God is a person – not a force out there that can be controlled. Prayer, therefore, is about a relationship and relationships take work and time.

Here’s the awesome part: Each one us can hear God!!!

Hearing God is not limited to the special few – the cool, the pastors, or those people on TV. Jesus said that “Whoever belongs to God hears what God says.” (John 8:47a). If we have bowed our knees to the King and follow Him, then we can expect to hear the King.

A few weeks ago I hinted at a cool scientific study about prayer, I want to talk a bit about it as fit into this concept of hearing God.

Hearing God’s Voice

  • T. M. Luhrmann, a psychological anthropologist and profession at Stanford University
    • She is not a follower of Jesus
    • Calls herself a secular agnostic in her book
  • She spend four years trying to understand more about the Evangelical relationship in America
  • During this study, which was published as the book “When God Talks Back”, she set up an experiment to see if people could be taught to hear God’s voice
    • The Bible said we can
    • The Church as said we can
    • But does it really happen?!
  • To prove this, she recruited a 128 subjects
    • Screened them to make sure they were mentally healthy
    • In other words, they weren’t crazy
  • Then she split the folks into three groups
    • Each group were supposed to participate in a spiritual discipline for
    • 30 minutes a day for 30 days