By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

Is there an easy “how to” in terms of learning to pray? Maybe. But I can’t say it would be the same for everyone. Like the Chapman quote above, I am confident that whatever way you begin will be the right beginning. Pray the way God calls you to pray. Our God of love meets us right where we are.

What has worked for you? Here are some things that have worked for me at different times of my life.

  • Try writing down the people and situations that are causing you the most worry. End your list with the words, “Lord, hear my prayer.”
  • Find someone to be a conversation partner. Together share with one another the situations you would like to lift up to God. End your conversation with a prayer that is meaningful to you, even a simple one like the Lord’s prayer.
  • Not sure how to even begin to have words to approach God? Maybe wordless silence is a place to start. Find a quiet-ish place (truly “quiet” places don’t really exist, do they?). Set a timer for an amount of time that seems long enough to challenge you, but not too long to be distractingly drawn out. 90 seconds might be just enough time, especially for a first try. Let your body and mind become quiet. Breathe with your whole body: in and out. In a silent prayer like this, do not put undue pressure on yourself to “feel” connected to God. Trust that God meets you where you are.

May the prayer below be a prayer for you on your own path toward God.

Let us pray:

God be in my head,
and in my understanding;
God be in my eyes,
and in my looking;
God be in my mouth,
and in my speaking;
God be in my heart,
and in my thinking;
God be at my end,
and at my departing.
—Sarum Primer, 1558

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