A Terrible Prayer

We've been doing a small study on spiritual disciplines this summer called The NextStep Course. It's been really good I think (if you're an LHCer you should give it a try). Last night we discussed prayer and I really enjoyed the discussion. It's amazing to me how simple God made it for us to communicate with him, but still we all struggle with prayer (for many different reasons).

This morning I was in the garage looking for something in the stack of boxes we still haven't unpacked and I found a book that I love. It's kind of a coffee table book of essays, poetry, and photos about prayer called Ragamuffin Prayers. I was flipping through it and found something that Michael Yaconelli wrote (former president of Youth Specialties, great author, passed away several years ago). It's called "A Terrible Prayer". It so echoed our discussion last night, so I thought I'd pass it on.

A Terrible Prayer

I have always been terrible at praying.
I forget.
My mind wanders.
I fall asleep.
I don't pray enough.
I don't understand what prayer is
Or what prayer does.

If prayer were school...
I would flunk praying.

But prayer isn't school.
It is mystery.

Maybe the mystery is...
Jesus loves terrible prayers.
When I can't think of anything to say, He says what I can't say.
When I talk too much, He cherishes my too-many words.
When I fall asleep, He holds me in His lap and caresses my weary soul.
When I am overwhelmed with guilt at my inconsistent, inadequate praying
He whispers, "Your name is always on My lips."

I am filled with gratitude, my soul overflows with thankfulness and I...
I...find myself saying over and over again, "Thank You."
Praying the mystery.

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