#359 – Summertime Prayers

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?

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3 Responses to “#359 – Summertime Prayers”

  1. ricky wiebe Says:

    i love the christian nerd page

  2. I have recently been tremendously helped by an online version of the Episcopal Church’s morning and evening prayer, delivered twice a day to my Kindle so I can read and pray through them on my commute to and from work (public transportation, of course): http://dailyoffice.org/.

  3. I’m excited about the new endeavor. However, you’re false advertising in your tweets. When you do the offices, you ARE piggybacking on the efforts of people better at praying than you. That is why it is so, stinking powerful.

    I know what you’re saying, though. Often, I felt overestimated by evangelicalism when it came to prayer. They seem to live with the assumption that every time we come before God, we will know exactly what to say and exactly what Scriptures to read, and that the individual, led by the Holy Spirit, doesn’t need any guidance from anyone else to offer growth-inducing, spontaneous prayers to the Lord.

    I know, from my time in the offices, that I desperately need to lay on Christians who have come before us. They wrote prayers that I need and use. I never prayed for the poor, or the outcasts, or the President, or the countless other things that the Scriptures commanded me to pray for until I started relying on the prayer warriors that came before me. It wasn’t for a lack of desire, it was simple forgetfulness.

    I will lift you in prayer as you start this new tool. I pray that the Lord uses the leadership of other people committed to praying in your life to increase the fruitfulness of your prayer life. I know all of us could use a good dose of that.

    Much love, Scott.

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