Recently, I came across this image:
I was touched by its message and have contemplated the idea of praying with maturity. I had never heard that phrase before! What did it really mean for me, in my life? I came up with five different ideas on how I can pray with maturity and I think they can benefit you too.
Substantial Time & Thought
If you are like me, it can be hard to spend time praying. Sure, I pray in the morning and I pray at night. I try to have a prayer in my heart. However, I don’t always spend time thinking about my prayers or trying to start off on a journey when I pray. For the most part, it is just about saying what I have to say and that is it.
To pray with maturity, we can spend time before we pray to ponder and reflect on our blessings, our feelings about Christ, and what we honestly seek. We can spend time praying out loud, working hard to concentrate and remain focused. We can spend time after we pray to listen to the spirit.
Vulnerability is uncomfortable. We do not often go throughout our daily activities willing to share the truths inside our hearts. We cannot be this way with God. No matter our feelings, we need to share them without reservation. When we pray with maturity, we recognize God will accept us just as we are and wants us to come to him without holding anything back.
Though Heavenly Father wants to be raw with our emotions, it is important we strive to acquire emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize our emotions, understand what is causing them, and exert some level of control over them.
I know sometimes I get angry when I pray, especially if I am feeling betrayed or abandoned. Instead of screaming or let my anger take over, I try to tell Heavenly Father how angry I am and be still, praying the spirit can help me make sense of my anger and control it. I don’t have to pretend I am not angry. I don’t have to try to stifle it. But I do need to work with God as I work through it.
There have been times when I have knelt down in prayer with a hard heart. I prayed for things, knowing what I was going to do regardless of what God said. I am grateful God stayed with me and touched my heart regardless. However, we need to be willing to sacrifice our will. If we pray with true intent, as instructed in the Book of Mormon, that means we are truly intending to follow through with whatever God tells us.
Our will is moldable. We are humble. We will go and do what the Lord commands.
Work for Answers
Our work is not done after our prayer is finished. We need to do everything in our power to work for an answer and to serve God. Praying with maturity means we recognize we cannot simply wait to be acted upon. We must act. Focus on doing good, ministering to others, and studying those things that are weighing on your heart.
What does it mean for you to pray with maturity?