How do you pray? For years I would not have known how to answer that question. Fear would well up and my heart would jump if someone asked me to pray. I always felt inadequate and unworthy. I felt as though everyone was listening and judging what it was that I was saying.
I don't know that the church ever really helped with this kind of prayer anxiety. I, along with everyone else, left the praying to the experts. The pastors where the ones who knew how to do the praying, "I will let them come up with the 'right' words". So I sat in the pew participating in prescribed prayers, that over time came to have great meaning, but never willing to offer anything of my own heart.
Over time, with great trials, and much maturity this anxiety has begun to fade. A rich spirituality has begun to emerge that encompasses the complexity of the theological tradition from which I am hewed. It has taken a long time to become comfortable enough in my own skin to be open to dare to ask how it is that God is working in my life.
Now I myself am a pastor and I see the same kind of "prayer anxiety" in so many people that I encounter. So I have decided that I would open a door to my prayer life. For those who wish to accompany me on this prayer adventure I only ask one thing. I ask that you would be honest about your anxiety and open to the questions that we will encounter.
I, by no means, have all of the answers. The best that I can claim to have is more questions. But as I understand my own spiritual direction this isn't about getting answers, its about asking better questions. I hope that by allowing you to participate in my own journey that it would enable and equip you to ask your own questions.