How Do You Pray to God? There’s No Wrong Way

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Seeking Wisdom" by Julia Cameron. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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How do you pray to God? Is there a wrong way to pray?

There are many ways to pray to God, but there’s no wrong way. Julia Cameron, the author of Seeking Wisdom, says that you should speak to God in whatever way makes you feel comfortable.

Keep reading to learn how to pray to God in your own way.

Talking to God

Cameron explains that once you’ve created your image of God, you must figure out how to address and pray to God. How do you pray to God? We’re often instructed to address God formally, using phrases like “Dear Lord,” and to pray with rigidly prescribed words or hymns. However, Cameron says that you should address and pray to God in whatever way makes you feel most comfortable

You can speak to God with formal titles and prayers, or you can call God “Dude” or “Mama,” for example, and speak to God conversationally. Maybe you pray while driving, hiking, or cooking. Maybe you pray best while connecting with nature or singing. There are endless ways to pray. Explore and do what feels best.

Is There a Wrong Way to Pray?

While Cameron says that your concept and name for God should be whatever feels comfortable for you, Rick Warren seems to disagree. In The Purpose Driven Life, Warren explains that one of the most important aspects of conceptualizing and praying to God is accuracy—adhering to the image, characteristics, and name of God that’s prescribed in the Bible. He explains that to do otherwise is false worship, since your image of God may not match what God is actually like. 

However, Warren’s recommendations for how to pray are very similar to Cameron’s. He explains that you should worship God in a way that feels good to you and reflects your personality. The strategy you use doesn’t need to be from the Bible—the only requirements are that you’re passionate and authentic. For example, Warren says you can sing, dance, confess, kneel, shout, or make music.

Four Techniques for Harnessing God’s Creative Energy

Cameron explains that in addition to your own unique prayer, there are four techniques that you should use regularly to most effectively harness God’s creative energy: 

1) Morning Pageswrite three long-hand pages every morning within the first 45 minutes of waking up. These pages can be about anything—last night’s dreams, your plans for the day, things you’re excited or worried about, and so on. Don’t worry about making these coherent or well-written—just consider them a “brain dump” before your day begins. This will clear your mind, give you direction, and increase your productivity. 

2) Writing—once a day, sit down and ask for guidance through writing. You can ask God a question or for advice and simply write down the reply you hear in your mind. While the answer you receive might be simpler than you think, trust your intuition. Cameron warns not to get too caught up in whether or not you’re truly hearing God—whatever reply you hear was sent for a reason.

3) Solo Adventures—take yourself on at least one solo adventure a week. For example, you can visit a new place, take yourself to lunch, or visit a pet store. Cameron recommends planning these activities in advance so you don’t forget and can look forward to them. Solo adventures are the perfect opportunity to connect with God, receive signs, make personal discoveries, and find creative inspiration

4) Walks—take a solo walk without any distractions like music or pets, and try to do this at least twice a week for 20 minutes each. This is the best time to be alone with your thoughts and to connect with God. Cameron says that she often goes on a walk with a question or topic to discuss with her God, and by the time she returns, she’s received an answer.

How Do You Pray to God? There’s No Wrong Way

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  • How to channel your spirituality into your creative endeavors
  • How to begin communicating with the divine
  • The types of prayers you should practice

Katie Doll

Somehow, Katie was able to pull off her childhood dream of creating a career around books after graduating with a degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. Her preferred genre of books has changed drastically over the years, from fantasy/dystopian young-adult to moving novels and non-fiction books on the human experience. Katie especially enjoys reading and writing about all things television, good and bad.

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