“Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him ‘Lord, teach us to pray…”
– Luke 11:1 (ESV)
I do not pray well. Somebody wants me to pray for their friend who’s sick, and I will, but it’s hard when I don’t have a name/face connection. I’ll mutter “Lord, be with [insert name].” That’s about it. Throughout the day, I’ll stumble over a few words intended for heaven, but overall, my prayer life is not as regular as it should be. It’s probably because I think it’s too hard.
I distinctly remember when I was in middle school, someone gave me a book for young teens about prayer. It gave suggestions such as waking up early (or in the middle of the night) to pray and keeping a prayer journal. Being a teenager with an uncanny ability to stress out over details, I assumed that I could never be as good as a pray-er as the book wanted me to be. In fact, during my teen years and until recently, prayer seemed boring. I often felt as if I were talking to the wall, ceiling, or myself (though I pray in the name of Jesus). At home, churches that partnered with my home congregation would want to do 24-hour of prayer marathons events where everybody would sign up to pray for an hour (because we’re all prayeratheletes). These events give me chills, as I don’t have the attention span to pray for one whole hour. After 20 minutes, I start thinking about the wall in front of me, my disorganized bookshelf, and even Tic Tacs.
Yes, I still think that Christian prayer is difficult, but I’m still growing. At the beginning of the month, I signed up to receive emails from the Crescent Project, a Christian outreach ministry. For every day of the month of May, the ministry sends an email for an individual in need of prayer, and the organization even writes the prayer out. For a person of little words during the process prayer, this helps. This is especially helpful for a person like me who struggles to find words for someone she doesn’t even know. However, I am still learning, and everyday, I must learn not only to ask “Lord, teach us to pray,” but also, “Lord, teach me to pray.”
PS – I welcome your comments or suggestions regarding posts at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve been blogging almost a year and new chapters of my life are unfolding. Therefore, I want your feedback on the direction of my blog.