I’ve often wondered whether there is a “proper” way to pray. I’m not sure if I’ve discussed this with you, but I certainly have brought up this question with one friend from fellowship. I’ll share with you my thoughts and inquiries and see what you think.

When I think of a “standard” prayer, it’d be bowing your head, closing your eyes, putting your hands together, saying the prayer, then at the end, conclude with “In Jesus’ name, Amen”. But does every prayer have to follow this procedure? If I miss one thing, am I still praying?

For example, if there’s something I REALLY want to pray about in my office, I would feel very awkward if I drop everything and start praying the way I described above. Not that I feel ashamed about praying, but I think I’d look more like a hypocrite if anything. If I continue working and just call to God from my heart and say a wordless prayer without closing my eyes, without bowing my head, does that count as praying?

What if I just want to express my thanks to everything that God has given me? Walking on the street and merely wanting to say, “Hey God, thanks for the sunshine!” Every little moment like that, should I add “In Jesus’ name, Amen”?

Another thing: Ever since being part of the fellowship in France, I’ve learned to say “words of the spirit”. It probably makes more sense in Chinese, but when some people pray, they sound like a completely different person, speaking beautiful words of praise, using intricate vocabulary. Maybe that’s what you call “filled with the Holy Spirit”. What if I don’t do that in every prayer? What if I just want to chat with God like He’s a good friend? Can I just say, “Hey God, I’m really pissed off today. What is going on!??!?!!?”

I suppose this all comes from a doubt that sprouts inside of me: Am I praying enough? People always say prayer is so important and you should pray often, but how do I pray often if I don’t even know whether what I’m doing can be considered praying or not?

I do believe that God does not filter prayers. He listens to each and every one of our prayers, whether it is spoken in words of a poet or slang, as long as it is truly from the heart. As for “In Jesus’ name, Amen”, as long as we know that we’ve accepted Christ as our Saviour and that it is through Jesus that we can communicate with God, is it necessary to state that in even the smallest prayers? That, I’m not sure.

So many questions.