Struggling to Pray?

Struggling to Pray? June 18, 2009

PrayerCandle.jpgHere’s a letter from a former student in response to one of the prayers we posted on Sunday as Prayer for the Week, which come from The Book of Common Prayer…

Dr. McKnight,

Why is that prayer is often called talking with
God- but prayers (at least ones people consider good prayers) are never
constructed the way we speak, or even the way we normally write? I
think alot of people, myself included, often feel their prayers are
weaker or mean less or childish if they don’t sound perfect…

of the time I feel like I don’t know how to pray and I don’t like to,
because it feels unnatural–trying to pray like the “Prayer for the
Week” below. And, I’ve not been a great Christian- so where does one
pick up with prayer- after a long hiatus? It’s hard to want to pray
when you haven’t experienced that feeling that God is alive and working
in you…

Sorry- I’m sure you’re busy with a hundred and one other things—but I’m just curious!

Be well-

Prayer for the Week

O Lord, your household the Church in your steadfast faith and love,
that through your grace we may proclaim you rtruth with boldness, and
minister your justice with compassion; for the sake of our Savior Jesus
Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now
and for ever. Amen.

Dear [Name],

We have two kinds of instructions on “how” to pray: the Psalms, which
reveal a host of things and not the least of which is rugged honesty,
and the Lord’s Prayer, which focuses our attention on the important
things in life.

We learn from these prayers and that is why
Christians have used the prayers of others — to learn from them and
not to let them completely replace our spontaneous prayers. Spontaneous
prayers don’t sound like those prayers, but after awhile we begin to
sound more like them. But who cares about how we sound? The issue is
telling God what’s inside you.

Where to begin? Did you know I
wrote a little book on prayer for such folks who struggle with prayer?
It’s called Praying with the Church: Following Jesus Daily, Hourly, Today

and if you follow the link from
FB to my blog at Beliefnet [or click on the link here], you can click on the little icon on the
right column and find it at Amazon.

You won’t believe the
number of Christians who have struggled with prayer and who have found
the use of prayerbooks to be the kick-start they needed for reviving

How’s that for some suggestions?

Where are you these days?



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