For me, this is one of the hardest parts of being a Christian. I have been struggling with this journey for a long time. I still struggle with it. I am not a good prayer.
I have so many friends who are excellent at it. They pray at church, they pray with their children, in restaurants and any other time that prayer is needed.
I am not one of these people.
Don’t get me wrong, I pray but I never feel like I’m doing it right. Oh I know you’re going to tell me that there is no such thing as doing it right. But I can’t help it. It’s just not something I’m good at.
When I pray, it’s usually in bed at night. I don’t kneel as this feels fake to me. I feel as though I can lay in bed and internally thank God for my blessings and ask for His guidance. I don’t need to say it out loud. If Jesus hears my every thought, then He will hear my prayers.
Well we have made great strides to at least pray at dinner time. The kids are really good at taking turns saying grace. At least I’m teaching them how to pray even if I feel inept. Once in a great while I will say it at dinner and it doesn’t sound too bad. But I get stage fright even in front of my own family.
What is my issue? I don’t get it.
When I hear someone praying well, and my friend VF is a pro, I get choked up. I feel it deep in the depths of my soul. It moves me. And I know that I feel each and every word of that prayer and I want to learn how to pray like THAT!
I love it when, two gentlemen in particular, pray at our church. They both are so filled with the Spirit that they get choked up. And those are the times when you feel the Lord’s presence. You feel Him listening to the words of these wonderful men. And I feel it too. And I wonder, why can’t I speak to the Lord with that much emotion and conviction?
Some may say that it’s because I’m not committed to my prayers. Maybe I don’t have enough faith, maybe I don’t believe enough, maybe Jesus isn’t in my heart.
That’s not it.
I don’t have the answer but that’s not it. For sure.
So what is it? Well this is one thing I know. The prayers in my head…… those are real and sincere. Does it really matter that I don’t pray out loud? Does it matter that I’m not one to volunteer at church potluck to say Grace?
Or is it more important for me to make sure that my kids hear me pray, even if it’s awkward. To teach them that the Lord is always listening and will hear you no matter what. To teach them that it’s the relationship that’s important not necessarily how it’s done?
That’s what really matters.
I have to remember that in the grand scheme of things I’m a new (practicing) Christian. The Lord and I are still in our infancy as far as learning. I am always learning and He is the perfect teacher. I may never feel completely comfortable praying aloud, but I will still try it every day. And I will always pray with my babies. And especially for my babies.
Because I know He’s listening and not judging.