I am in vocational ministry, therefore I pray well. I realize that does not necessarily follow. What it does do, however, is reflect my early-on notion about the prayer mastery of all those other ministry mortals out there; that is, before I joined their ranks and found out they didn’t possess any secrets I didn’t already have. Prayer has its challenges for everyone.

In truth, I don’t pray well. Certainly not consistently well, so far as I can tell. And as you can probably tell, I’m ramping up to a full confession. For what I pray out loud in front of others is one thing, what my soul wishes to be free enough to pray, another. More troubling than that though is how I struggle with these same things when praying by myself in front of no audience—but the One. Either way I am wont to pray with equal parts performance and distractedness, with too much self-awareness and too little God-awareness.

You’ll be cheered to know that I also have a good side to my prayer life, and I’m sure that’s what enthuses me to stay the course. Namely, I pray with the realization that God is there enjoying my efforts in all of this. I also believe He wants to hear from me more often, even through all my controlled and stunted word choices, I suppose just like any father enjoying his toddler’s first garbled words would. That’s why from now on, even when I don’t feel up to it, I hope I’ll start praying more freely and honestly anyway.

I hope. After all, it makes sense to me that all the prayers I’ve ever said—and maybe especially the simple, stumbling ones—have been music to my Father’s ears. Don’t you just know, when a million of our prayers reach His ears at once, it must sound like a symphony to Him. 

I hope this encourages you to pray today.

Kevin Murray

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