you are not alone. In fact, you are in good company. Let’s see what we can do to improve thingsfor you.But before I talk about
to pray, I want to first look at what
us from prayer in the first place. I came up with five obstacles to prayer so let’s take a look at each one as well as how wecan overcome them.
The first obstacle to prayer is fear. Prayer is riddled with fear. We fear that we are doing itwrong…that God isn’t listening or even if he is…that he doesn’t care. We fear that we arewasting our time…that we are playing the fool. And if we are totally honest we might evenadmit that we fear God doesn’t exist to hear our prayer. Now, just to give you a picture of someone experiencing the fear of prayer I want to show you aclip from the movie:
Meet the Parents
. [Ben Stiller is asked to say the dinner prayer at the homeof his fiancé after just meeting her parents. He is very self-conscious, wandering through his prayer…searching for the right words…sounding as pious as he can. He happens to say “day byday” which obviously reminds him of the song from the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar”.Happy to have
spiritual to say from memory, he ends up quoting part of the song tofinish his prayer.]Some of us have prayed prayers like, haven’t we! Did you see his fear? The fear of what to dowith his hands. The fear of saying the right words…having the right posture. He didn’t reallycare what he said. He just wanted to get through it. And that’s why some of us don’t pray. Weare afraid that we are doing it wrong and God won’t be happy with us.You know, my kids had the same problem. When they were learning how to talk they made allkinds of mistakes. Lisa and I got so upset with them that we told them that if they couldn’t speak in complete sentences and with proper grammar that we didn’t want them to say anything…thatif they couldn’t do it right they shouldn’t speak at all.I’m just kidding! But if that was true, you’d call child protection services. You’d have us lockedup. No parent should ever say that to their kids. Good parents should accept their children justthe way they are. But that’s how a lot of us think about God and prayer. We think that God issitting there with some kind of a pray-o-meter judging the quality of our prayers and rejectingthose that don’t measure up.Level one:
That’s pathetic! Don’t even bother.
Get serious. You are talking to God.
That’s better but still a long way off.
You’re close. A little longer, louder and earlier.
You’re a winner! God will now hear your prayer.
When I write it out like this it looks foolish. We know God isn’t like this. Then why do we actlike he is? What do we know to be true about God? We know that he loves us unconditionally.And because of that the Bible tells us…