Prayer : How To Pray?

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Lord, sometimes I’m afraid to pray.
It scares me,
this whole business of talking to you.
Listening to you.
Who am I …?
And what does it mean?
It’s a heavy thing, Lord,
to be in contact with you.
It would be all right
if I could just use the passkey,
open the letterbox,
drop in my requests,
like a mail order catalogue,
and wait for the parcel to come.

But when I pray
I hear you talking back to me.
I hear you saying
„You’ve used the words.
Now what are you going to do about it?”
Confronting, searching.
I think of Jesus, in the garden.
I catch a glimpse of what prayer meant to him.
Sweat … like blood …
Agonising, painful.
Prayer from the depths of his being
whether for others, or himself.
Prayer beyond easy words.
To the cross. And beyond.

Lord, teach me to pray
in his name.
In his spirit.
Not only believing prayer.
Not simply believing you’ll do something about it.
But identifying prayer.
Putting myself into it,
standing alongside you, Lord
and committing myself to do all I can
to bring about what I’m praying for.

Lord, help me.
When I pray for peace, help me not to create dissension.
When I pray for my neighbour stir me up to help him.
When I pray „Your Kingdom come” inspire me to
share in its building.
Help me put my will where my mouth is.
And not to shift onto your shoulders
the things I can do something about myself.


—–Eddie Askew, (Disguises of Love)

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