Richard Foster writes, “We today yearn for prayer and hide from prayer. We are attracted to it and repelled by it. We believe prayer is something we should do, even something we want to do, but it seems like a chasm stands between us and actually praying. We experience the agony of prayerlessness.” (Prayer, 7).
I get it.
Even as a pastor, I sometimes have to force myself to pray to God because I am too busy doing the work of God. Weird, right? Or maybe it's not really the business that keeps me from praying.
Foster further states that one of the primary reasons we don't pray is that we have a need to feel we have everything "just right" in order to pray. We want to say the right words and have lived righteously that week, thus deserving to be heard. The problem with this kind of thinking is that it puts us in control, and prayer, in and of itself, recognizes that someone other than ourselves is in control. This kind of thinking also piles on the guilt, which reduces even more our motivation to pray.
The truth is that we will never have it all together, but that is the beauty of prayer. God invites us to have a conversation with him knowing exactly who we are - thought life and all.
Amazing... yes, yes, yes!
At some point we have to recognize that what really matters in the beginning of prayer is that we simply show up.