I struggle with prayer.
I didn’t’ grow up in the Church. I remember when I first started going to church I would do what the rest of the congregation was doing by bowing my head and closing my eyes.
“Gosh, I’m hungry.” “Is this over yet? No? Crap.” “Don’t fall asleep. Don’t fall asleep.” “Is it time to leave?”
When I went to Liberty, professors that talked about prayer said that it was like “making a phone call to God. Pick up the phone.” Bleh. Awful. I always thought that analogy was a tacky way of explaining prayer to adults. Honestly, I heard that plenty of times while getting my degree from there.
What have we learned about prayer? That we should say a prayer right when we wake up. We should say a prayer before eating. We should say a prayer before we go to bed. We give thanks for God waking us up. We give thanks for God for our food. We give thanks for God getting us through the day. Understandably, I know these are things to be grateful for.
I said these prayers for awhile. The repetition of the same thanks of God giving, giving, giving. We thank God for the “blessings” that have been offered to us. And that is where my prayer life ended. It never went farther than just the repetitious announcing of gratefulness.
My prayer life was surface level, and I wasn’t okay with it. I was missing out on lifting others up. Family. Friends. Peers. Colleagues. The poor. The hurting. The suffering. The misguided. The hated. The haters. The lovers.
Yes, prayer is meant to give God thanks and praise. But, it is also a way for us to be intimate with God. It’s a way to be submissive, vulnerable, and to confess. We are told to prayer continually.
Submit to God. Be vulnerable to God. Confess to God.
Does that suck? Yes. I struggle with being this open. I struggle with being this intimate. But, even though I struggle, I know that I am submitting, opening, confessing to a God that drives out fear, hate, and darkness. I am praying to God who gave me the ability to love and feel for others. I am praying to God who has given me a Spirit that makes our time of prayer pure and divine.
Then listen to what is being spoken to you.