Over these last few months, I have heard a number of people offering their thoughts around prayer, what it is and means to them, how it happens and what we need to learn.
Someone recently related it to the ability to breathe and got us thinking around that point in an aeroplane journey when you are told to put your own oxygen mask on first before helping someone else.
Part of me has always thought of this a little differently because I would always want to help others first, believed I should put them before me and somehow should be thinking about how to save others rather than myself.
But the question was put, that how can we save others if we are not looking after ourselves? If I do not have my own oxygen mask on, how can I help others put theirs on?
The same is true about prayer and our relationship with God, how can we help others with theirs if we are not sorting our own relationship out? How can we encourage others to grow in their relationship with God if we are not doing things to grow ourselves?
A lot of this comes back to the old phrase that we can only give out of what we receive, and we have a God who is able and wanting to give so much. The challenge is whether we are in a place to receive. Do we put ourselves in that place? Or do we think we are doing ok and we can just help others?
This has changed my way of thinking about prayer and my ability to help others. I for one, will be doing a lot more to look after myself so that I can help others, as I want to be able to be in the place that I can help as many people as possible,