Do you ever get lost and aren’t sure what to pray?
If you’re like me, these are often exactly the moments where we need to most – under stress, facing temptation, having sinned or sinned against.
Today we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make sure that our prayers are creative and beautiful – or else we feel like a fraud. We need to be a breathtaking Christian poet on the spot or else we feel it’s not worth doing or that our prayer somehow lacks power to be heard by God.
Fortunately for us – this isn’t what the bible tells us about prayer. In it we learn we are heard by the merit of our mediator – who is perfect, sent by his Father, and his Holy Spirit intercedes for us and every day teaches us to pray as we ought to (Romans 8:26). God himself has opened up the impassable way between us and God.
There are a number of practices we can reclaim to take the attention off of ourselves and back onto Christ – the founder and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
One of them is taking the pressure of prayer-performance off and appreciating the beauty of faith in simple prayer – “Lord have mercy on me a sinner” (Luke 18:13) or recited prayer such as we were taught in the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) – a teaching which in the gospel narrative directly followed a warning about being performative in prayer!
Finally, we ought to take a deep look at the psalms again which give us words to wear for every occasion. Not sure what to pray? Skim the psalms, find one that resonates, and wear the words of the historical-faithful to be your own today.