Did you pray today? For some praying is hard. I think it is because we complicate it. We hear the elaborate prayers and hear how elegant they sound. We feel as if we can not duplicate that. You know which prayers I mean the ones that start Oh Father God. The truth is prayer is simple. It is not complicated. It can be as simple as a thought. Or just the tiny words whispered, help me God. I know people have tried to complicate the teaching of the Lord’s prayer. It is simple. and it does not have to take hours. Try praying several times a day for a minute or two at a time.
- Acknowledgement that God is God.
- Giving everything over to God. That means whatever you have brought in prayer belongs to God
- Provision for everything you need now and in the future.
- Forgiveness (you forgive others/requesting God to forgive you)
- Finally Thanksgiving or Praising God
What did I tell you? Simple.
What is hard is the sitting in the quiet listening to God. That is the hard part. At least for me it is, it requires that I have no input. It requires not looking at a computer screen, a phone, or a tablet. It requires just being quiet and doing nothing. Start with a couple of minutes a day. Then add to the time each day.
Learning to pray is not complicated, but it is a habit that has to be developed. Each time we pray we add more time, each time we listen we add more time. But start out small a minute here and there. Think of it like learning a musical instrument. You do not start out playing “Under the Double Eagle” rather you start out with “Mary had a Little Lamb”. One note at a time. One note of the scale at a time. You play that one stupid note over and over again until you have it each time. Then you play two notes at a time. It is like that with everything we learn. I am not sure why we think we can go straight to the Presidential inauguration prayer without any practice. For some reason it is the same with reading the Bible. We think we should be expert when we first start. Then when we aren’t we get frustrated and give up. When what we need to do is to start reading one verse at a time. Just one, then once we understand that verse, we move to the next. One should not try to read the Bible in a year, the first time you read the Bible. One should be glad if they can get through all of Psalms in the first year. When you were a kid learning to read, You did not start with Thoreau, you started with Run Spot Run. Then you read Run Spot Run until you could read it without any prompting and then you moved to Dr. Seuss. You did not try reading Thoreau until you could read Tolkien, which probably did not happen until high School. There are the Hardy boys , Beverly Cleary, and a whole list of books that you learned to read before Shakespeare made sense. The point is we have to learn to pray and read the Bible one step at a time. One minute , one verse at a time. You have to develop the habit and develop the understanding. Just imagine if in Kindergarten instead of teaching you your letters, a teacher had handed you The Complete works of William Shakespeare, Do you think even as an adult you would care to read anything? Since reading the Bible and Praying are new skills; why should we think that we would start at expert. Is there anything else that you started as an expert? I mean besides making a mud pie? Reading the Bible and learning to pray are no different from any other skill you have developed. IT TAKES TIME.