This thought got started from a book I was reading by Bill Johnson, "The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind." He admitted that his habit of lapsing into daydreams in the middle of prayer times used to make him feel guilty that he'd wasted a prayer session. But it occurred to him one day that the daydreams themselves had been planted there in his mind by God, and then he began to regard them differently, as part of the prayer. I can relate to and understand that.
Maybe we are taught to approach prayer with too much of a stereotyped idea of what we should expect. Maybe the eyes closed, knees bowed, hands clasped position isn't necessarily the ideal pose for pray-ers at all times. Maybe reading down a list of what we've written beforehand, making sure we've carefully balanced our Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplications isn't the only valid way prayer will work. In fact maybe sticking to a formula can become more of a hindrance than a help as we become locked into a repetiveness that doesn't do much for us.
During prayer I sometimes feel the need to grab a prayer journal and jot something down from the top of my head (as this was). I sometimes get ideas for my books and rush off to jot them down. I sometimes start thinking about someone or some situation that is not on my list and mutter a little sentence on their behalf. I sometimes remember things I should've done. And I sometimes find myself grabbing a Bible to look up Scriptures in different translations. This often seemed like a very slapdash way of approaching prayer and I'd feel guilty like Bill Johnson, thinking of myself as very easily distracted. I like the way his book made me wonder if they are really distractions. If I regard them all as legitimate, sudden ideas planted by God, then maybe I can begin regarding them as part of my prayer just as much as the more formal parts.
Thanks for that thought, Bill Johnson. Instead of criticising ourselves for not praying enough - for there's already enough self-condemnation in our lives - we might do well to realise that we actually pray more than we think we do.