Forget Your Prayers
I heard an old preacher say, "Forget all the little prayers you've learned, forget the little cliches and important words." He was encouraging people to pray for one another and let go of all the normal things we say when praying. Here's the thing, often we pray those things because we're uncomfortable or we're praying out of our own self. When we allow the Holy Spirit to join us in the prayer and give us his words, then we're praying on another level. We say we know God but have a hard time talking to him. We say the same memorized phrases over and over again. I can't imagine doing that with my wife. We can know God and have a conversation with him. It takes time and it takes us setting aside our way to get there. I've led several small groups over the years, and before the prayer time, I would instruct everyone that we were going to just wait and not pray until we felt the Lord gave us something specific to say. It was a little awkward and difficult at first, but soon our prayer time changed and became something new and life giving. Some of the best prayers I've heard are from unbelievers calling out to God or new believers trying to figure out what to say to God. They talk to him earnestly and plainly like he is sitting right there next to them. Didn't God say we were to come to him as little children talking to their father?
I encourage you to try this the next time you pray even if it's in a group or a church gathering. Take a breath before you begin. Focus on the Lord not the needs or the people. Ask the Lord what he wants to say. Then wait until he speaks. Blessings my friends!