Thursday, July 03, 2008
Learning to Pray
I find that I am eloquent when I am not in need. When things are running smoothly or when someone else needs the encouragement of a friend to go before the throne of grace with them. Words come fairly easily then. I may not always have the right words, but I can always find something to say. At least, until I am made speechless by the encroachment of need upon my own life. Then I am left to stutter, mumble, or simply run through a series of images and snap-shots in my head hoping God will get the picture of what it is I'm trying to say and what it is I want Him to do in the midst of my messy incoherent cries for rescue. There's a reason God gave us a template for prayer. We are so bad at it. We feel the need for creativity and eloquence when talking to Him. We try to convince him that our desires are just and our wants are our needs. But I find that when I am stripped of eloquence and dumbfounded by vulnerability my mental capacity is only capable of verbalizing four words: "Thy will be done". And still there are other times when I am reduced to one word: "Help". When there are no more words, it is so bolstering to return to the prayer that Christ taught His disciples, or to read the prayers of those who have gone before and experienced the same longings of the soul and worries of the flesh. It is in these templates that we can find a sure footing when we know only to place one foot in front of the other to move on. It is in such examples that we find a simple means of grace and abundant stores of mercy.