There are quite a few spiritual disciplines where I struggle. One of them, a rather important one, is prayer. I don't struggle all the time and I don't struggle in all kinds of prayer. But overall I have to rate my prayer life a C- at best.
I have no problems praying out loud in a group. However, I can always find an excuse to not pray out loud when it's just me and my wife. It makes no sense.
I am terrible when it comes to prayer lists. Often as I read the requests it feels like I'm just reading a list off to God and it's not coming from my heart. Sometimes, a certain request will resonate with me and it will feel more personal. However, it's inconsistent and the next time I read through the list I may feel nothing. This leads to not bothering to read through the list at all.
At night as I lay down to sleep, if I'm having trouble getting to sleep all I have to do is start praying. The next thing you know, I'm out like a light. I sometimes do the same thing with my wife at night. I don't know if either my wife or God appreciate my dozing off in the middle of our conversations. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
So what do I do about this spiritual weakness?
I'm going to try to go back to the basics. What better place to start than the prayer given by Jesus to his disciples when they too may have been struggling with prayer.
Luke 11:1 (ESV)Jesus' disciples came to Him and asked that He teach them to pray. Did they want Jesus to teach them because they wanted to be more like the disciples of John the Baptist? Or, did they see Jesus often go off by himself and pray for hours to the Father and did they desire that kind of relationship with God that Jesus modeled for them everyday.
1 Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples."
Why do I want learn to pray? Is it so I can become a prayer warrior? Or am I really craving a closer relationship with my Father?
I hope it's the latter.
Join me on this series of posts as I search my own heart and look at the prayer that Jesus gave to His disciples when they asked Him, "Lord, teach us to pray."