I was good at praying at one point in my life; when I was in my undergraduate degree I would pray often, most of it would be without words, and God was never really far from my mind. It was a source of great joy and comfort for me, and I look back to that time as when I caught a glimpse of God. It’s the kind of experience that I am incredibly grateful to have had, and am incredibly grateful to have a community that can assure me that I am not strange for it.

I am no longer good at praying. I have tried over the past few years to get back into it, but how can I possibly have a methodical way to get back to praying spontaneously without words? And what good is prayer anyway? I’m not even sure how I feel about intercessory prayer, and if God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent –

I need to stop there. Lent is a time for turning around in your life, and since I do not pray and therefore have a hard time even being able to tell if I’m far away from God, this is something I feel like I need to do.

What I have decided to do this lent is a prayer journal. So far, the thing I have noticed is that I have been writing down a lot about God in creation. I hope to notice more as I go along, and think more on how my Lenten discipline of praying with a prayer journal is going in my next blog posts. Is anyone else having any interesting insights in their Lenten discipline? Does anyone else have a hard time with prayer?



3 comments on “Prayer

  1. Pamela – I have found using a journal to be incredibly helpful in my prayer life – somehow I process differently when I write…
    My own discipline of sketching every day during Lent was difficult last week when my routines changed and I couldn’t fit it in! But I am hoping as things are more ‘normal’ this week, it will get easier. I do notice that if I sketch in the evening, my brain is different afterwards – partly because I have taken a break from all those words!

  2. awanthony says:

    You bring up a good point, Pamela. If God knows all, including the content of our prayers before we pray, then why bother? Although this concept is closely related to the pre-destination/free will debate which I contemplate often, I had not made the connection with respect to prayer until reading your post. The answer that occurs to me is that the purpose of prayer is not to let God know what is on our minds (because God already knows), instead the intent is the opposite; to keep us mindful of God and to maintain our relationship with God. God does not need us to pray, but God knows that we to need to pray, therefore it is important to do so. In that regard prayer need not be word-based in order to be beneficial to us.

    • Pamela says:

      I think it’s a good point that you bring up, and I have heard it before, but something feels wrong about it, it feels like we’re explaining things away. I certainly don’t go for pre-destination, but I feel like the answer might be more complex than either of these ideas.

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