How I Pray

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By Holly Scheer

My prayer life has changed as my life has changed.

When I was younger, the main prayers I can remember saying were the ones at bedtimes and meal times. The bedtime prayer I grew up with is the one I have taught my own children,

“Now I lay me down to rest/ Angels guard my little nest/ Like the wee birds in the trees/ Heavenly Father please care for me/ Amen.”

We’ve also taught our children Luther’s Evening prayer and they pray that before going to sleep.

The older I get, the more prayer has become intertwined to my daily life. We pray before we eat, we pray with the children. But there’s also the silent prayers I say throughout my day.

Sometimes it’s the Lord’s Prayer. Sometimes it’s closer to me begging God– please, please, please help, please keep my children faithful, healthy, safe.

Sometimes it’s rambly prayers of thanksgiving and joy, or of sadness and despair. I pray while I garden under the hot sun, I pray when I lay in bed trying to sleep.

I pray that my children stay in the faith, that their future spouses are safe and being raised in the faith, and for the increasingly long list of those I know who have asked for prayer.

When life is good I pray, but not as much as when life is tough. God is there when it feels like the whole world is falling apart.

“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
    that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
    yet I will not forget you.” Isaiah 49:15

Our Jesus isn’t the Jesus of good times or bad, He is our Jesus for all our times. Even those when our only prayer is just, “Help!”

Photo Credit to Leland Francisco. Creative Commons License.
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Comments

How I Pray — 2 Comments

  1. This is so true about prayer. I have prayed all my life, yet the older I get, the more comforting and important prayer has become to me. A few years ago a family member of mine became very ill. During that time I began to read the scripture readings and the article for each day in the Portals of Prayer, and I also use the prayers in the back of it to guide my prayer after I have read my Bible awhile.
    It amazes me at the hope and Joy that it has given me to have this special time set aside every day to pray and thank God for loving me and my family.

  2. Hi Holly,
    Great little post. I’m old enough to be looking in the ‘rearview mirror’ of my life so to speak. My prayers changed too as I got older, especially after I had children as you indicated. In my early years, I wanted very much to be able to pray extemporaneously or ex corde meaning from the heart. I could do this in private but when asked to lead a prayer in a church setting, I always felt uncomfortable. I could never get all the right words out that I wanted to say. Some people are much better at this than others. For the past several years now, I’ve longed to hear the prayers of the church that were said for example at chapel on Wednesday mornings in the Lutheran school I attended –

    The collect for Grace – ‘You have safely brought us to the beginning of this day..’ or the
    collect of the Word – ‘Grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them..’ As a child I never knew what inwardly digest meant!

    The prayers of the Church are so beautiful. I could never speak so eloquently as the writers of these prayers. Today so many people pray at church gatherings and infuse their speech with so many ‘I JUST want to thank you Lord…..’ What a shame that written prayers are looked down upon as not being sincere enough.

    In Christ,
    Diane

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