Evolution of my prayer life

"When did you first start praying and how has your prayer life evolved?"
Carol Ann P.
Prayer is an aspect of my relationship with God.

The first 'prayers' I recall occurred when I was around 3 or 4 years old. They were not formal prayers, but conversations that came from an internal and conscious connection with God, as I simply believed I was an expression of Creator. Being my constant companion I had one-way conversations each day as I sensed His presence and knew He loved me - instinctively.

A few years later, I was old enough to learn memorized prayers, being taught to say these each night before I went to sleep. This included a prayer to my guardian angel, who I also believed was my companion. The memorized prayers continued for many years, and as these grew, my spontaneous one-way conversations with God were edged out as I sought to pray to God the 'right way.' Old and inaccurate ideas about God and prayer began to take hold, as my family life escalated from emotional turmoil to physical abuse and violence.

As I grew older I attended religious education, Mass, and weekly dishonest confession as the idea that I was not good enough to have a direct relationship with God or Jesus had entered my mind, damaging my soul. This led to a distant and distrustful idea, where God became a tyrant master, expecting perfection to gain His attention or love. I had come to believe 'official memorized prayers, on my knees' were the only correct way to speak to God. As the violence and abuse at home continued, our family prayers were memorized and detached words, occurring before each meal, lost was the trusting communion I had previously known and confusion increased.

My prayers turned to pleading, begging, or negotiating with occasional honest letter writing to God. I was full of confusion and fear, for now I believed I had to attain perfection, before He would want to hear from me. Grace I knew nothing of until all efforts to live harmoniously with Creator failed. It was then that I cried out a prayer with a simple, desperate plea for help.
This plea for help was answered and a trusted spiritual teacher came into my life. It was like starting over and I had to unlearn a lot of old ideas as well as believing I could develop a committed, loving communion with God.

Trust grew daily as did prayer and today includes various forms of prayer, from conversations, memorized and spontaneous prayers, writing, centering prayer and guided meditation.
Today, I hope that my life has become a prayer ~ with gratitude, committment and honesty as I seek to honor the One who saved me.
I look forward to your thoughts, questions or comments.
Carol Ann P.


sharonsjourney said...

Wow! I talked to God too, then later got on my knees & said formal prayers, I started writing to God, & would tape them on my wall, as I got more desperate. I still was on my knees saying the formal prayers. I learned too, to be afraid of God, that He was out to get me. One day I made the decision to really earn my way to hell, since I was going anyway. That's when my drinking got worse, then I got into drugs, & very abusive relationships. I didn't know anything about a personal relationship with God, or a loving God, until I came into the program. I now have a lighter heart, & can see how God has been & is working in my life. Before I thot God was 'out there light years away, was too busy, & didn't want to have anything to do with me, so I was closed off to Him.
I'm opening up gradually. Someone told me there are many ways to pray, one is sharing in meetings, another is just talking to Him, & another is just thinking about Him. I'm sure not as stressed out anymore, cuz I'm not looking over my shoulder all the time. What a difference today. Thank God! And AA!

Carol Ann P said...

Thank you for your heart felt comment. It is nice to hear that I am not the only one who experienced this as a child, as today I believe we are all born with a 'knowing' of Creators Loving presence, and we are an expression of perfect Love.

After my post I remembered these simple ways I also pray, that I thought you would connect with.

My ears are a prayer, listening when another shares, my arms are a prayer when I comfort one who is suffering, and my eyes are a prayer when I recognize Creator's presence within a given day - in creation, a person or experience. And thanking Him for the effort to communicate with me: a 'hello,' 'I love you,' or 'hang in there,' through the day's experiences.

I pray that your relationsihp continues to be restored to the child-like trust of your younger years along with the mind of a restored and sober adult.

Many blessings in your recovery.
Carol Ann