How to React If Told You Are Praying the Wrong Way

There are a hundred and one reasons why you can be told by somebody that you are praying the wrong way.

Some Wrong Ways of Praying

These wrong ways of praying include: you do not perform the required ablutions or washing of your body parts before praying; you are not facing the west when you pray; you are not using the proper prayer mat; you are merely repeating a prayer formula over and over again; you are not in the proper posture or proper clothes; your mind is not on what you pray; and so on and so forth.

So, how do you react if you are told that you are praying the wrong way?

Steps to Take to Give the Proper Reaction

First, thank the one who told you that you were praying the wrong way. This is because you can always learn something from someone who criticizes your way of praying. There is always something to learn, to improve the way you pray. And so you thank her for the benefit of learning something new to improve the way you pray.

Secondly, ask her why she thinks that you are praying the wrong way. And reflect on her answer, whatever it is. You may be praying spontaneously and she thinks that you should use an approved formula of prayer. If this is the case, ask her why she thinks that spontaneous prayer is a wrong way to pray.

I have heard spontaneous prayer whose every sentence contain the word "God", like "God, we thank you for giving us this day, God. God, we ask you to bless us, God, as we proceed in our work today, God."

Some object to this kind of spontaneous prayer as too insistent on God, as presuming that God is not ready to listen to our prayer that he has to be addressed to many times, again and again.

Thirdly, ask her what is the right way to pray. And listen to her answer because you can always profit from this answer. For example, Christians normally do not perform ritual ablutions before formal prayer. For them knowing that people of other faiths perform ablutions before prayer can impress upon them the need to be clean in body, mind and spirit when they converse with God.

Fourthly, you pray for the one who criticizes your way of praying. You pray that she too improves on her way of praying, especially that she puts her concentration on what and to whom she is praying.

Fifthly, aspire for the perfectly correct way of praying. There is such a way, the perfectly correct way of praying. This is the way of God praying in and through you. Agree with what the Bible says that we do not know what to pray and how to pray. Only God knows the perfectly right way to pray and when he prays in and through you, he prays the right way always.

Only God’s Way Is the Perfectly Correct Way

You may be surprised to read here that I say God prays in and through us. But this is because left to ourselves we really do not know how to pray. This is the reason why some holy men and women admonish us to use the formula of prayers in the sacred books like the Psalms and Sura Al-Fatiha because the words there were written by God himself. We can never go wrong if we use what he wrote.

The best way to pray is still the way God wants us to pray. You can continue to learn what this way is.

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