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Prayer Practice

by Stephen Hebert on Wednesday - 23 December 2009

in Ministry

I’m horrible at prayer. I don’t make it a priority; I can be uncomfortable, and I often feel that discomfort because I feel exposed and open — sort of like Frodo when he puts on the One Ring and can feel the lidless eye of Sauron, ever-watching atop Barad-dûr, consuming him (see image below). Don’t get the Lord of the Rings reference? Well, that might be a good thing. Read on anyway…

Eye of Sauron

This morning, I was reading quickly through a prayer series found over at The Resurgence. While I wouldn’t consider myself truly “reformed,” nor am I in agreement with all of the items in this series of posts, it did make me rethink the simplicity of prayer.

So, I thought I’d share what I typically do.

I use moleskine notebooks to keep track of what’s going on in my prayer life. Everything that I’m about to describe is written down. Why do I write? Because it keeps me focused. I’ve never been diagnosed with ADD, and I don’t think I have it, but when things are kept only in my mind, they tend to float away. I need to be looking at something — even if it’s just my own chicken scratch.

I date the top of a page, and then I start writing to God. Sometimes I take the time to go to the Bible and pull out a passage. I might write that passage in its original language and meditate on it a bit as I’m doing so. But, for the most part, I just write a letter to God.

In doing so, I try to follow the general pattern of the Lord’s prayer. Rather than launching directly into my own wants/needs/desires, I attempt to humble myself and assure that we are in the write position: God is on top; I am on bottom. Doing so almost always leads me into a better experience.

How do you pray? I’d love to read your thoughts…

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