How hard can it be? I have friends who excel in prayer. They inhale heaven and exhale God. They would rather pray than sleep. I sleep when I should pray. They belong to the PGA: Prayer Giants Association.
Not me. I’m a card-carrying member of the PWA: Prayer Wimps Anonymous.
Hello, my name is Max. I’m a recovering prayer wimp.
It’s true. I doze off when I pray. My thoughts zig, then zag, then zig again. If attention deficit disorder applies to prayer, I am afflicted. When I pray, I think of a thousand things I need to do, and I forget the one thing I set out to do: pray.
Prayer is not a privilege for the pious, not the art of a chosen few. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child. My friend, he wants to talk with you. Even now, as you read these words, he taps at the door. Open it. Welcome him in. Let the conversation begin.
Prayer really is that simple. Resist the urge to complicate it. Don’t take pride in well-crafted prayers. Don’t apologize for incoherent prayers. No games. No cover-ups. Just be honest honest to God. Tell him everything that’s on your heart. Your worries, your fears, your unfixable fixes.
But here’s the thing about prayer. If it depends on how I pray, I’m sunk. But if the power of prayer depends on the One who hears the prayer, then I have hope.
And if the power of prayer comes from the One who hears it, then I don’t have to be timid.
You heard me right. Our prayers shouldn’t be bashful or half-hearted. They should be bold.
Boldness in prayer is an uncomfortable thought for many. We think of speaking softly to God, humbling ourselves before God, or having a chat with God but agonizing before God? Storming heaven with prayers? Wrestling with God? Isn’t such prayer irreverent? Presumptuous?
It would be had God not invited us to pray as such. “So let us come boldly to the very throne of God and stay there to receive his mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need” (Hebrews 4:16 tlb).
So how do we go from prayer wimps to audacious prayers like that?
We start by consulting God in everything. Always. Immediately. Quickly. Live with one ear toward heaven. Keep the line open to God.