For some prayer is as simple as taking a breath, but others find it difficult and awkward. How can we learn to pray? Is prayer like having an imaginary friend? Of course, God is not a figment of our imagination, but talking to someone we can’t see, hear, touch or feel might seem like it. One of my own struggles with prayer is staying focused and not repetitious. My best practice for focused prayer is praying while walking. Prayer walking helps me feel like I am walking with God as a friend. Often, when I pray this way, I actually hear from God. How do I know it’s God walking and talking with me? As I’m walking and talking with God, I begin to get answers and the answers are directly related to what I’m thinking and praying. In this way, I have this sense that God is with me. I used to think that the only way to pray was on my knees in a humble contrite position, but I have learned over the years that just like faith in God is developed by relationship – prayer also is conversing with a friend.  And even though God is worthy of me getting on my knees before Him – it’s really more about the relationship and having real conversation. This is how I imagine the relationship that Jesus disciples had with him. Being with Jesus and walking with him was probably the best prayer life they had ever known!

LIFE Words by Ron Pickell