Praying has always been something hard for me. Despite working my way through a few hundred prayer journals, reading through the Bible a few times over and even having guided prayers, I have struggled with being a good pray-er.
However, I have found that whenever I am going through hardship I feel much freer to pray. Since starting the process of recovery with Celebrate Recovery, I have found I am much more open to pray. I empathize with others’ pain much more than in the past. My recent history is praying for people very quickly whenever they ask rather than really intercede for them.
I think this has changed my rate of time in prayer. As little as six months ago I was able to spend fifteen minutes in prayer a day, whereas I spend between 30-45 minutes a day now. By no means do I consider myself a prayer warrior, but it is easier to pray for longer and more often. Slowly, I am learning how to be more meditative with my prayers. Slowing down when praying is difficult for me. Taking time to feel for the subject of prayer is a bit weird.
One thing that has helped is the corporate prayers I participate in on Sundays. My main worship service consists of a bunch of responsive reading including prayer. Also, at Celebrate Recovery, we pray the Serenity Prayer every meeting. This is usually attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr:
God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; taking, as Jesus did , this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will; so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen
This is an encouraging prayer that helps me in times of distress. Although I am still learning to pray, I think I am getting a little better at it. How is your learning curve in prayer?