When I was a little girl I thought it was rude to pray for myself.
My family watched a lot of Unsolved Mysteries and I was convinced murderers were everywhere. At night I would pray “Now I lay me down to sleep…” and then I would add on a few things: “thank you for everything, please forgive me of my sins, please don’t let anyone in my family be killed tonight, and if it’s okay with You please don’t let anyone kill me tonight either.” The last bit was said quickly in the manner of a child asking for a cookie before supper–I thought it was wrong because it was a prayer for me.
That was my prayer life.
At five years old I lived in guilt, fear, and always felt like I wasn’t even good enough.
Everything is so different now and I thank God for that.
Sometimes my prayers are like Solomon’s in 1 Kings 3:7-9 and I ask God to equip me for whatever He has called me to do. Sometimes my prayers are like David’s in Psalm 64 where I praise His great name and cry out for protection. I recently did that, I mentioned it just last week in my blog post! Sometimes my prayers are like that of Paul in Acts 27 where I listen to God’s promises and just follow through on faith that He will do what He says He will do.
I think we live in a culture that is quick to dismiss the power of prayer. There is danger of it becoming routine and almost chore like. The moment prayer becomes a drainer instead of a power source something is wrong and I encourage you to reach out to brothers and sisters in Christ to talk it out, search Scripture, and pray together.
The best part about prayer is that there is no specific way to do it. If you are a person of order, pattern, and repetition there is nothing wrong with repeating the Lord’s Prayer as your prayer. If you are someone who is always on the go you can pray anywhere! I pray in the shower, in the car, in my office, while I clean, and anywhere else you can imagine. If you like words your prayers can be as poetic as you wish. If you don’t like words your prayer can be as simple as repeating the name of Jesus.
As my confirmands learned this year, prayer is a conversation.
Have a conversation with God today.
And don’t forget to listen for His response.