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How can we address our reluctance for not praying?
Well, first, we have to look at our excuses. I could call them reasons but they are more than reasons. They are excuses.
Here’s a sampling of excuses people give.
Excuses for not praying.
- Not enough time
- Feel inadequate
- Don’t know where to begin
- Feel unworthy
- Afraid of intimacy with God
- Too many past unanswered prayers
- God already knows
- Don’t feel the emotional connection
- Feel intimidated by others
There are probably others but I bet they all fit somewhere in one of the above.
But guess what?
I’ve used every one of those excuses and more. But I’ve learned through prayer. Funny, huh?
Letting go of our reluctance to pray
However, it’s like any new skill we want to learn, we learn it by taking that very first leap. Like I did when I jumped off a boat at St. Thomas into the ocean because I wanted to see the coral and tropical fish. I was beyond fear but I so wanted to do it, I simply jumped in. I should add, I can’t swim. Thank goodness I had on swimming fins. That snorkeling excursion is one of the best I have ever had. To see God’s creations under the sea was the most beautiful and ethereal experience I’ve ever had. Such peace, and calm, and quiet.
Prayer is like that.
We jump in and the rest falls into place.
Getting rid of our resistance.
I love Proverbs. In addition to my other Bible reading for the day, I add a Proverbs. Such a wonderful practical book.
One of the main themes of Proverbs is to acquire wisdom and how is that accomplished. Here’s what Proverbs 4: 7 states:
“The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;….”
Seriously, isn’t that a bit confusing? We acquire wisdom by acquiring wisdom. How much sense does that make?
It’s all back to that first step
Just like jumping off that boat knowing I couldn’t swim and had a serious fear of being in water over my heard, that’s what jumping into prayer might well feel like.
But if you remember, I wrote in an earlier post, that learning to pray means we first have to have the desire. But my deep desire to see for myself God’s creation up close and personal overcame my fear.
I jumped. That was my practical expression of my desire. I simply started.
The life jacket of the Holy Spirit protects us against our own excuses
Did I mention that, of course, I was wearing a life jacket. Accordingly, when you sit before God and you begin to pray, you have a life jacket as well. That life jacket is the Holy Spirit which is an equal part of the trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
He is the entity that protects you from your doubts and discouragement. The Holy Spirit is the one that helps you overcome your reluctance to pray and you can count on the fact that the Holy Spirit is always doing that. He wants you to pray.
The second half of the first step
In the light of all the above, for today, just sit.
You can says the words, “Heavenly Father, Dear God”, it doesn’t matter.
Just begin and if you get no further than those few words, that’s OK. It will come.
Next week, we’ll begin looking at those excuses. I will be writing for you as well as for me because the truth is, I still cling to some of them.
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