I’ve written a lot about my prayer life on this blog. Probably because it’s one of the areas in which I need the most growth. Prayer has always been a struggle for me and I’ve shared some of those struggles. I used an Orthodox prayer book for a while and for a season I have been focused on praying for our church’s golf tournament. Those have been bright blips in an otherwise dim part of my spiritual life.
I wrestle with prayer because I don’t feel like I’m very good at it. I know it’s just talking with God but other people seem so much more in tune with what to pray and how to pray it. I have friends who are amazing prayers and, when I compare myself to them, I always come up short.
I know I’m not supposed to compare myself to others but, when they’re so good at prayer and I feel so bad at it, it’s difficult.
Coming off of our pastoral staff’s spiritual retreat, though, I’m feeling more invigorated about my prayer life and I’m excited about a new tool. One of my coworkers has been using The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickler to direct her prayer life. For those who grew up in a more liturgical tradition, using a book of set prayers throughout the day is old hat. For a good Baptist boy like me, though, using set prayers seems a little weird and a little too Catholic (I have nothing against our Catholic brothers and sisters).
Seeing as how I’m not a great feeler, I hope that having more structured prayers will help me get more out of my prayer life. I feel like I have been trying to pray how other people pray. God created them to connect with him differently than I connect with him. Instead of continuing to try and pray like them I’m excited to start something new.
The book doesn’t begin until Sunday but I find myself wanting to look ahead and see what’s coming. That doesn’t give me a free pass to not pray for three days, but I will spend the next three days praying that God uses this new endeavor to do something powerful in my life.
What helps your prayer life?