The HSI Guide to Personal Prayer: Preface
by Aneel Aranha
One of the most popular—and powerful—initiatives of the Holy Spirit Interactive (HSI) apostolate is its Discipleship Program, which is aimed at helping people in their journey towards becoming true disciples of Christ by being holy, pure and perfect like He is. To make progress of any noticeable merit on this journey, however, we need to have a healthy relationship with God, and this can be achieved only by spending time in prayer.
Traditional community prayers that many of us are accustomed to are excellent ways of praying, but in order to build a truly meaningful relationship with God a prime requisite is personal prayer. When the apostles asked Jesus for advice on the subject of prayer, He said to them:
“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.” (Matthew 6:6)
Regrettably, many of us have never taken the time to develop such a relationship through personal prayer. One reason for this is that we simply don’t know how to go about it. We might very well follow the advice Jesus gave us by shutting ourselves in a room and dropping to our knees, but a few minutes later we either flee, unnerved by the helplessness we experience; or simply revert to traditional, repetitive prayers we might have learned as kids.
Suggestions that we simply talk to God or open our mouths and say whatever comes to mind might be well intentioned, but are not very helpful. Jesus, Himself, didn’t offer such advice. When a disciple said to Him, “Lord, teach us how to pray,” He didn’t reply, “Go, say whatever you feel like.” Instead, He taught them a prayer, a beautiful one that we refer to as the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:1-4).
It is not the intention of this series to teach you new prayers (though there will be many of them), but rather to teach you the elements of prayer and how best to use them in the time you spend with God.
I wish you a blessed prayer life.
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While I hope this series inspires you to a better prayer life, I wish to acknowledge a little booklet by Linda Schubert that inspired my own. Titled "Miracle Hour", it contributed in no small measure to building my prayer life to what it is today. Copyright © Aneel Aranha. All rights reserved.