I have good intentions, and then I get distracted. Most mornings, I get up in time to spend quality time praying and reading my Bible, but some of those days, I spend a chunk of that time checking twitter, Facebook, and the news instead.
So frustrating. Not because it's a sin to check the news, twitter and fb, but because of timing. Time I've designated to spend doing one thing, I waste doing another. I'm choosing to play with mudpies in the slums when a holiday at the sea is offered.**
So, one of the reasons prayer is hard is distractions.
Another reason it's hard for me is that sometimes, I don't know what to say.
I mean, I do know what to say, but I can start praying and I end up saying the same things. Even though I mean what I'm saying, sometimes, it just doesn't feel "fresh."
When this is the vibe I've got going, I do a couple of things, but I'm only going to talk about one of them today.
I pray other people's prayers.
Have you ever tried this? It can be so powerful.
Maybe you're thinking that praying someone else's prayer means that your prayer won't be genuine, because you didn't think up the words. I guess that would depend on what prayer you are praying! I have found a couple of prayers, that when I read them, everything in me went, "Yes! Yes!" These prayers say what my heart's cry is. I haven't arrived where these prayers are, but it's what I ache for.
I had forgotten about this first one until I found it in one of my journals when I was looking for material for this week's posts. I'm glad I found it.
by A.W. Tozer in The Pursuit of God
Father, I want to know thee, but my cowardly heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival. Then shalt Thou make the place of thy feet glorious. Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it, and there shall be no night there.
In Jesus' name,
The second prayer I want to share I heard about from Elisabeth Elliot, who copied Betty Scott Stam's prayer down when she was a young girl. I copied it into the flyleaf of my Bible in 2005.
Betty Scott Stam's Prayer
"Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept thy will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all utterly to thee to be thine forever. Fill me and seal me with thy Holy spirit. Use me as thou wilt, send me where thou wilt, work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever."