Praying never came easy for me.
At first, I worried I wasn’t doing it right. I’d get so concerned with how I was praying, I’d lose track of what I was saying.
Even after I realized prayer is a conversation not a performance, I still wrestled with what to do. I would bow my head and wait for the words to come. Eyes closed, I had good intentions of talking to God, but instead, I often ended up making grocery lists and writing emails in my mind.
To many of us, the idea of talking to God can feel too spiritual, too significant to be entrusted to a regular person. But the more I read the Bible and learned about prayer, the more I realized that’s exactly who prayer is for.
Nothing escapes God’s notice; nothing oversteps the boundaries of His power. God is authoritative in all things. If I thought even for one moment that a single molecule were running loose in the universe outside the control and domain of almighty God, I wouldn’t sleep tonight. My confidence in the future rests in my confidence in the God who controls history. But how does God exercise that control and manifest that authority? How does God bring to pass the things He sovereignly decrees?
You begin every day with prayer, one way or another.
In his book The Common Rule, Justin Earley explains that unless we create new habits of gospel prayers in the morning, we’ll start the day with some kind of “prayer” we’ve borrowed from the world. Whether it’s anxiety-ridden regret or self-sufficient resolve, something fills our minds as soon as we awake, directing us to look beyond ourselves, or at least deeper within. And here’s the thing: unless we intend for our prayers to accord with truth, they won’t.
If I told you I was friends with comedian Conan O’Brien, you’d ask, “How often do you get to see him?”
If I said, “I haven’t met him yet. But I’ve watched his show and I’ve read a lot of articles about him,” you’d think I was nuts. Knowing about Conan O’Brien and knowing Conan O’Brien are not the same thing. We can’t know someone or have a real relationship without spending time together.