Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lord, Teach Me to Pray

On Tuesdays, for one hour, all three of my boys are in school at the same time. This is because Little One has started a speech class once a week for one hour. He had been going for an hour and half which was heavenly but he graduated from that class rather quickly and is now in the one hour speech articulation class. I was a little bummed that he was progressing so quickly because I was really enjoying a whole hour and a half. But at this point in my life as a Mommy, I will gladly take one hour, once a week. Especially since that one hour is at 8:30 in the morning and a town away so there really is not much I can do but hang out at Starbucks, drink my mocha while it is hot, and start reading through all the new books I have.

So this week I was sitting at my table all ready to go with four books in front of me having to choose where to begin. How does one choose what book to read first? I always feel like I am being asked to choose which child is my favorite. Though if I am totally honest, I do have a favorite child, but it is not always the same child. Good thing I have three kids because at any given moment any one or two might be pushing my last buttons but there is always one that makes me smile on that day and reminds me how lucky I am to have each and every one of them. So you can see I have a deep need to improve on my prayer life.

I decided to start with a book by Andrew Murray written over a hundred years ago. It was recommended by a friend and as a former history teacher I figured when in doubt go with a classic. So glad I did because the first chapter of "With Christ in the School of Prayer: Unlock the Power of Prayer" is called Lord, Teach Us to Pray. In it he writes this prayer,
Lord Jesus! I ask Thee this day to enroll my name among those who confess that they know not how to pray as they ought, and specially ask Thee for a course of teaching in prayer. Lord! teach me to tarry with Thee in the school, and give Thee time to train me. May a deep sense of my ignorance, of the wonderful privilege and power of prayer, of the need of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of prayer, lead me to cast away my thoughts of what I think I know, and make me kneel before Thee in true teachableness and poverty of spirit.

I love that prayer. And while the words may be different, with a lot less Thees, my heart cries out in the same way. Turns out I was going at this study of prayer the wrong way, seeking book recommendations and talking to friends, before I ever went to Jesus the perfect teacher of prayer. Because no matter what books I read, who I talk with or what I find in the Bible, without Jesus and the Holy Spirit, I will never understand prayer. I will never be able to really experience prayer as God wants for me.

So Lord, please teach me to pray! Let me be a humble student, open to wherever your training will take me, eager to learn from you, open to your Spirit, with a deep understanding that the power of prayer comes not from me, but from you. Let my prayers start and stop with You.

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