Many years ago I had an opportunity to teach a bible study in a home where I didn’t know anyone and in a city that I had never visited. For months we studied the word of God together and people that started out as strangers became friends. One night, a person spoke up and said, “I just don’t know how to do it. It isn’t easy for me like it is for you. I don’t know how to pray. Teach me to pray.” I responded, “Prayer is not something that is easy or natural for me and you are not alone in feeling this.”
Have you ever felt that way?
Teach Me to Pray.
The disciples asked Jesus the same thing.
Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As He finished, one of His disciples came to Him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
Jesus said, “This is how you should pray:
“Father, may Your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
Give us each day the food we need, and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation.”
Why is praying difficult or awkward for most of us? It was even difficult for those that walked side-by-side with Jesus for many years. Is it that …
- We don’t know what to say
- We don’t believe that God is listening
- We aren’t even sure if God is listening that He would cares about us or our concerns
Have you ever felt disqualified from praying or unworthy of God hearing anything that you might have to say or ask? You are not alone.
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
I don’t know about you but I have plenty of reasons to pray. It seems each day comes with its own type of setbacks, struggles or challenges. For me, those perfect carefree days are few and far between. We need God’s strength and peace everyday. He is our very present help in time of need.
God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
So I push through the awkardness and the fear that I don’t have the right words. I approach God in spite of myself because I know that although I feel unqualified and I am sinful, in Jesus I am qualified and worthy. I speak to God and pour out my heart. I remember that it is not always about what I am saying but to whom I pray and the posture of my heart in those moments. I spend my days trying to develop a rhythm of prayer and a relationship with Jesus in all of my imperfection, while being fully transparent and fully known.
I am learning that prayer does not guarantee that life will be perfect or that God will give me all that I ask. I do know that sometimes an answered pray can cause pain and hurt.
Prayer may not change my situation but it will always change my perspective and most importantly it connects me to a God that is always with me.
Will you push through all the reasons why praying is difficult and find moments to connect with God?
His Reminder to Me:
Thursday started like any other regular day. It was filled with chores and cleaning. The sun had just set but there was still a lingering glimmer of light highlighting the shapes of the mountains that surround my home. As I walked upstairs for the umpteenth time my body was exhausted and I was speaking with God. I prayed, “Lord, help me to see you, feel you and glorify you even when all I seem to do is clean all day.” Suddenly, against the perfect backdrop of the dark mountains, a light began shining. Why had I not noticed this flashing shining light before? Just then, I heard a whisper into the deepest parts of my soul, “Be the Light”. Time stood still for these few moments and as quickly as the light appeared it was gone. The cries of my toddlers returned and what seemed like minutes was just a moment of connection with a listening and loving God that filled my spirit with an unexplainable peace.
Remember, God is always listening.
Give your burdens to the Lord,
and He will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
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