“What if I don’t know how to pray?”

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:12-13

Question for the day:  What if I don’t know how to pray?

Good morning friends!

I am spending this week at the Academy for Spiritual Formation at Camp Sumatanga.  The Academy is a two-year program that helps people learn how to connect with God in deeper ways.

People from all over the country gather for 1 week out of each quarter for two years, and during this time we deepen in our knowledge of prayer, bible study, church traditions, and small group experiences.  We are extremely blessed to have two faculty members each quarter that are experts in their respective fields.  It is a rich experience.

I am very privileged this week to be learning about different prayer techniques from Roberta Bondi.  Roberta is an extremely well-known authority on prayer practices from the early church (among other groups.)  And she made a statement yesterday that made me think of all of you.  She said,

” The most common obstacle I hear from people regarding their prayer lives is that they are not sure they are doing it right.”

That broke my heart.  But it made me realize that the church as a whole has not done a very good job of teaching our members to pray.  We just tell them they should and assume they know how.

Hear me now:  Any way that you communicate with God is the right way.  He created us all differently and we should expect to experience Him in different ways.  Some of us sing, some of us meditate, some of us draw or dance.  And all of it is beautiful in the eyes of our Creator.

I will tell you how encouraged I was by your responses to my challenge last week.  Many of you determined that you would do your best to begin and maintain a daily prayer practice this month.

I am praying for you each day.  However, I would also like to give you some practical help.  So each day this month we will focus on the Psalms.  The reason for doing this two fold:  1.  The psalms were actual songs or prayers written to God by regular people like you and me;  2.  The psalms are an outpouring of emotions that range from great joy to great despair and everything in between.

The psalms are a reflection of every human experience and they are a wonderful foundation for our prayer lives, regardless of where we are in life.

Each day I will issue a psalm.  Take time to read it, reflect on it, let it sink deep into your heart, and respond to it as the Spirit leads you.

Be blessed by your encounters with the Savior.

Psalm 1

Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.

But not the wicked!
They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
Sinners will have no place among the godly.
For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.

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