Why is it so Hard to Pray

I don’t know about the rest of  you, but I struggle with praying.  I don’t know if it’s because of my brokeness, my weaknesses or what, but I always struggle to say what I really feel.

Matthew 6:7 says  “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words .” But it seems that’s exactly what I do.  I ramble on, repeat myself and rarely actually say what I am trying to say.  So, I am doing some research into prayer, and here are some things I am learning:

  • You can pray standing, kneeling, prostrate, eyes opened or closed; the important thing is that you are comfortable, thus you are not distracted from your praying.
  • Ecclesiastes 5:2-3 tells us Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.  A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool.”
  • God instructs us to pray “Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!”
  • We are told to look to the Holy Spirit for help with prayer.  Romans 8:26-27 says “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”
  • Prayer requires a humble heart as written in 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

I also turned to Luther’s Small Catechism and he says this regarding our morning and evening prayers:

Morning Prayer.

1] In the morning, when you rise, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

2] Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray Thee to keep me this day also from sin and all evil, that all my doings and life may please Thee. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

3] Then go to your work with joy, singing a hymn, as the Ten Commandments, or what your devotion may suggest.

Evening Prayer.

4] In the evening, when you go to bed, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

5] Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast graciously kept me this day, and I pray Thee to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Then go to sleep promptly and cheerfully.

I think I will go with Luther, I won’t ramble, I can pray this with sincerity and love and I believe it covers all I need to say.  After all, God knows our every need and gives us what we need.  I’ll also say a short prayer for those who need it at the time I become aware of their need for prayer.

Mumbles  says

You pray, God is listening.

God’s peace!

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