Like a cat running through a dog show, so is my prayer life. Honestly, there are times when it's really bad. I know this may shock some of you coming from someone who works for the church, throw your stones later. I feel pretty guilty about it, I really do want to have a great prayer life. I marvel at the prayer warriors, kneeling for hours, praying so fervently they are sweat soaked.
I think I have an ADD prayer life...I start with the best of intentions...Dear God, thank you for today and for my family and their health...when does Cole need to go back to the doctor? Did I pay that bill for the last trip? Trip...where are we going on vacation this year...how will we afford it...better start saving money now...oh yeah, I was praying...sorry God...
I have tried various books on prayer...Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence is one of my favorites. Body Prayer by Doug Pagitt, um...interesting yoga style praying, that was fun until my wife walked in on me praying the reverse barking dog... A good friend of mine told me about "popcorn prayer". He and his wife lay in bed and just make short prayer statements, kinda like popping popcorn. This works great for ADD, but the thought of popcorn makes me hungry.
I have heard enough sermons on "praying without ceasing" to make me sick. I can't last 5 minutes...sometimes. It left me thinking I just need to sit there until I get it right.
What has helped me the most is realising that prayer is really all about communication. It is not about the form, or position, or the right words or really length. I try to pray short little prayers through out the day. As something gets brought to my mind, I'll drop God a mental email or try to jot it down in my notebook so I remember it later. There are times I can pray forever, there are others that it's like short attention span theatre.
The good news is that every time I call him, God's waiting, right there, even if it is a quick chat, or to tell him a joke I just heard, or sometimes when I need to shout, or cry, or say thank you. He's right there, waiting. Go ahead, talk to him.