I have never been one to pray every day, as in set time aside and start ‘dear lord.’
I speak to God all the time.
I used to think that this was good enough, but when I met Simon last year, I made it a point to pray every night together before we go to sleep.
It was very strange in the beginning. I didn’t want him to think I was mad, he doesn’t go to church since he lost his mum, and a persons’ religion is probably the most personal thing you can engage.
So one day, a couple of months into it, I just prayed, very briefly, the lords prayer…whispered it.
The next week I added something about us, where we are, what we want, gave our thanks.
It’s risky because I was speaking for someone else.
Now we begin with the lords prayer every night, and say something little and thank God.
I found out two things.
1. Speaking to God outside of prayer, is mostly speaking to myself, and mostly done by everyone. We all have a conversation about the moments of our lives as we have them. Maybe I am too general in assuming that everyone then prays to God. So I won’t be harsh on myself and that form of prayer. But it is internal, it’s about me, it’s about my needs in life and does not require sacrifice.
2. Setting aside time requires sacrifice. It requires giving up some of my ‘me’ time and setting God up infront of me, distinct from myself, and speaking to him. Sometimes I just rush through the lords prayer. I’m tired, or I’m despondant – thinking ‘…is this really working…’ or belligerent, saying to myself that I don’t do formalized prayer.
I heard a sermon, first Sunday of Lent on how much time I give to God. If I go to church once a week, for a year, that’s 52 day’s out of 360, roughly seven days. And of those day’s it’s about an hour’s service, maybe two.
I want the best from God, yet give him the left-overs of my life.
Setting this time aside for prayer is less than a minute a day. And still it’s difficult.
It makes me feel a little less petulant when I’m screaming for help in times of need.
Over the course of the year, I have found that putting myself before God and asking, even quietly, that he lead my life, gives room to grow, that he’s made. I can stand freely in life, and chart my course.
Jesus, tonight I’m saying thank you for the encouragement you gave to me to start the process, thank you for listening every night, and perhaps, forgive me for the quality of the words.
Tonight I am saying that I’m sorry that you had to suffer so.
I’m sorry for putting you last.
“Offer up the sacrifice of Praise” (Hebrews 13:15)