Can I be honest? Some days I struggle with prayer. I know, I know. Pastors are supposed to have this all figured out. What kind of racket are we running here?
But it’s true.
Some mornings, God’s Spirit is more tangible than the aroma of my coffee. The perfect reminder from Scripture collides with the circumstances of the day (and just the perfect mix of caffeine), and God and I are chatting it up like we’re on the Verizon network.
Other days? Crickets. Like I can’t quite nail the formula. This is crazy. What should I say? Why can’t I hear? Did we re-up with AT&T or something?
And then God illuminates His truth in the most peculiar little ways.
6:27AM. I hear the patter of little feet running on the floorboards above me. The second step from the top squeaks like the un-oiled Tin Man, so there’s no sneaking around. My morning ritual was about to be interrupted. By one of the mini-Coopers.
Sure enough, there he stood. My son. Hair disheveled. Glasses cock-eyed. Eyes still crusty with sleep.
“I had a bad dream.”
I picked him up and sat him on the kitchen table as his six year old imagination began to unfold a dreamy (and rather lengthy) story of robbers invading the school playground, Ralphy from A Christmas Story style. He poured out every detail.
Every. Single. Detail.
I hugged him. Held him close. Promised there were no robbers heading our way today, and that even if there were, daddy was big enough to handle them (I’m a total Stallone when it comes to imaginary criminals).
“Do you want to lay down here on the couch close to me?”
I carried him to the sofa and covered him with a blanket, and there he rested peacefully until the clock said it was time to get ready for school.
Initially, I have to admit I was a little flustered. I love my son, but I get up early to be alone. My process of Supernatural connection had been thrown off kilter. Until I realized that in interrupting my prayer, God was actually answering it.
Son shares his heart.
Dad picks up son.
Holds him close.
Reminds him of the truth.
Son quietly rests in dad’s presence.
Maybe prayer isn’t so complicated after all? When we stop treating it like a formula. A procedure. A method. And remember we’re interacting with a Someone.
We talk. He listens. He talks. We listen. We rest in His presence. That’s prayer.
Be honest. Do you ever struggle to pray?