Praying With a Script

Dec 10

Praying With a Script

If you were to poll a number of Christians about the area they struggle with most in their walk with God, chances are they’d answer “my prayer life”.

Let’s face it!  Prayer can be very dull.  Most of the time I found myself praying according to a script that goes something like this:

Dear God,
Thank you for such a beautiful day.  Thank you for my family. Thank you for my friends etc.

Please help so-and-so, and please help me as I (fill in the blank with whatever you’re struggling with or need help with) today.

Please bless Bob, Sue, Johnny, etc.
In Jesus Name,

Amen.

RosaryI saw this so often in my own prayer life that I decided to go on a journey to change it. I decided to learn how to pray.

One thing I did was go to those whose prayers changed things, and observed. I wrote out prayers from books, from the Bible, and from ancient writings of the church, and assembled them into a sort of “daily prayer routine”. I try every morning to pray through these prayers word for word.

Now, understand, as an evangelical, protestant Christian, I hated the idea of “rote praying”. I was afraid of “babbling many meaningless words

But honestly, what’s better, praying through the standard script I wrote above, or meaningfully praying things like Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians?

I want my prayers to be powerful. I want the very act of praying them to change me. I want to be deeply challenged and moved by the words I pray. I don’t want to risk boring myself to tears as I go through my “shopping list” with God.

And, to be honest, I need written prayers to keep focused. Sure, I can deviate from the very words on the page, add in more detail regarding a personal situation and such, but the written prayers provide a framework, and often lift me above my own small world as I pray.

Personally, I love to recite them as I walk, using the Anglican Rosary – but more about that, later! And given my spontaneous prayers more depth.

If you’re interested in training your own prayer life using written prayers, let me suggest the following links:

Well, that list should get you started. If you have some rote prayers to share, please put them in the comments section below so we can all benefit!

Darlene

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