I don’t like to pray. I know that may sound odd coming from a pastor but it’s true. As an extrovert praying doesn’t come naturally, at least in the traditional sense of folded hands, closed eyes and being quiet.
I don’t like to pray. I’d rather be busy doing something, anything, other than praying. I get energy from being around people, from talking, discussing. I like the stimulation of lots of people and lots of noise.
I don’t like to pray. Praying for me means giving up control….and I like being in control. I like being Lord of my own destiny, Captain of my own ship (fill in your own metaphor).
But when I do pray, when I let go of trying to be in control, I often find that I am graced with a presence and a peace that is not of my own making. I’m always surprised that I don’t get to the point of praying more quickly. To pray seems so obvious, the benefits for me so real.
Maybe my resistance to prayer is part of the process for me. Maybe I am so hard-headed that I need to experience the frustration that comes with trying to be a god unto myself. Maybe I need to be worn down yet again, before I am ready to invite God to make a home in and with me.
I’d like to think that the older I get, the more ready I am to pray. Yet, I still like to be in control. I still struggle to trust in God. I still resist ‘letting go’ and ‘letting God’.
I don’t like to pray. But I do, in spite of myself. And when I remember to pray, I am met, I am known and I am reminded that I am not alone.
I am learning that prayer doesn’t require that I bow my head and close my eyes. For me prayer is simply remembering to look and listen and wait upon that Great Mystery we call God.
I don’t like to pray. But I’m blessed when I do.