Your innermost prayers…when you don’t know what to say.

Q & A with Rick Hamlin on Prayer…

Rick HamlinYour career at Guideposts magazine has spanned almost three decades. How has your position atGuideposts as executive editor impacted your outlook on prayer?

 When you see me in my office, surrounded by a sea of yellow post-it notes filled with prayer requests from people around the world, you get a quick snapshot of all the ways I’ve been blessed. Praying for others—and encouraging them in prayer—has taken me on a wonderful journey, an exhilarating adventure. I like to memorize their requests and who they are so I can think about them when I’m not at my desk. I’ve learned to “go out on a limb” when I pray for others, to take a risk, to be passionate – the way Paul is in his prayers. In my work here, I’ve also been expected to ask boldly, sometimes brazenly, about other people’s prayer lives, and that has blessed me and helped me grow in my Christian faith. Hearing their stories, their challenges and victories refreshes and encourages me every day.

You give your readers a new perspective on the definition of prayer—what constitutes prayer, what it is, what it’s not. Can you expand upon this, helping readers understand your view of “praying without ceasing”?

Talking to God can happen in a lot of different ways.. Certainly, it can be quiet and contemplative, but it can also be a conversation as you would talk to a friend. Pour out your soul, say what’s on your mind, don’t censor yourself—He’s listening and knows exactly what you’re going through. Also, reading Scripture, especially the Psalms, captures our thoughts, speaks to our souls and, in fact, constitutes prayer. A prayer can inspire an act, but the act itself can also be a prayer. It can be bold and action-packed like a hug, a song, a scripture verse, a service, writing someone a note or letter or doing an out-of-the-blue favor; all these connect us with our Maker. When we say “Yes” to God and then go on to act on His nudgings, on the promptings of the Holy Spirit, then we’re on our way to “praying without ceasing” throughout our lives.

You exhort readers not to get stuck in “prayer paralysis.” Could you further discuss the “cure” for this malady?

Sometimes in your prayer life it can be hard to translate a good feeling into an action.  You know what God wants you do to but you’re not sure you can do it.  You get stuck.  Well, as someone once said, “Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”  When you say “Hi!” to God, God will say “Hi!” right back to you.  Step out in faith and you will be helped in more ways than you know.  Prayer is a tool to make you stronger, braver, bigger, lovelier – in a word.  Prayer simply expands your world. You learn to care about people you would never have known otherwise, and you find out what makes them tick. You grow in your ability to love. This “prayer in action” cures your “prayer paralysis” quickly!

10 Prayers You Can't Live Without

10 Prayers You Can’t Live Without: How to Talk to God About Anything

Rick Hamlin

Guideposts APRIL 1, 2013

ISBN 978-0-8249-3218-3  Paperback  5½” x 8¼”  240 pages  $14.99

Religion | Christian Life | Spiritual Growth

Guideposts (, a nonprofit organization, touches millions of lives every day through products and services that inspire, encourage and uplift. Its magazines, books, websites, prayer network and outreach programs help people connect their faith-filled values to their daily lives. Its flagship title, Guideposts, reaches six million readers. The Guideposts family also includes Candy Cane Press, Ideals, Williamson and Summerside Press imprints.

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