We have learned how to use email, how to text message, how to leave messages on answering machines, how to communicate on facebook and twitter, how to writ pra e a resume, how to leave a note for a friend or family, how to write a thank you note, how to apply for a job, how to fill out a form, how to write a paper or essay; and yet so many of us feel completely inept at knowing how to pray.
There are many ways to pray and all it takes to learn how is to make the effort, practice and be open to learn. From the simple sentence prayer, to the ancient written prayers, to the spontaneous sharing of needs, to the thanksgiving at a meal, to the very carefully crafted prayer there is a wide range of ways to communicate in prayer. I have been very conscious recently about how much I have been both relying on the simple sentence prayers, such as the Jesus prayer, “Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God; have mercy on me.” At the same time as I am so often reciting these sentence refrains I am learning and practicing the very deliberate and careful process of created praying, taking the time to form and create a prayer that is a response, reflection and monument to my relationship with God at this time.
It is easy to go to my email and find other forms of communicating with everyone else around me, but I need to be very careful not to overlook myself and the most intimate and important relationship I will ever have - to seek to serve and be one with God.