7 Reasons I Stink at Praying
BY Matthew Archbold
| Posted 2/8/11 at 1:01 AM
Awesomely Humble. Sometimes, no sooner do I hit my knees when I start thinking about how wonderful I am to take time out of my day to pray. I’m like a short chubby St. Teresa of Avila, bursting with humility. And then because I’m so wonderful at being humble I start fretting about all those other bad people who are not as wonderfully humble as me and aren’t praying this very minute. I am so glad I am not them, the poor Hell-bound dears.
Lazy. Even though I know that the time I spend in prayer is a source of strength that I can draw on so that I can do well in all the other facets of my life, I tend to schedule it as catch when can. In between blogging, watching Phineas & Ferb, and getting dinner on the table I’ll find some time to thank God for creating the world, my family, me and loving us all so intensely that He sent His Son to die for our sins. I’ll get to God. He just has to be a little patient.
Easily Distracted. “Our Father, who art in….” Art’s a funny word. I wonder when they stopped using art in every day language? I wonder when I say “Art,” Does God think I’m Amish? Do Amish people say “Art” when they pray? Wouldn’t “Art” just sound like every day language to Amish people? I wonder if they say “Is” instead, ya know, just so it sounds different? I art to Google it! Hahaha. Wait. Where was I?
Waiting for the Right Time. The three year old is asking to go to the bathroom and let’s face it, when three year old’s need to go to the bathroom you don’t ignore that. Ever. (I learned that the hard and messy way.) The five year old is sick and throwing up in a bucket and his fever is at 100 degrees. The nine year old can’t find her tights for dance class and she swears that she “pacifically” remembers putting them in her dance bag and she wants to know who took them out. The eleven year old wants to know why you’re supposed to invert and multiply and the eight year old just ran by me with a light saber yelling a war cry. I’ll get to God as soon as things calm down around here.
A Thinker. Sometimes I’m too much of a thinker and not enough of a get down on your knees and pray to God guy. I’ll sometimes get on my knees to pray and I start wondering about why I pray petitionary prayers to God who’s always going to do the right thing for me anyway. I’ve prayed for lots of things that I’m darn thankful He didn’t let me have. God knows best and He’s going to do right by me so why am I bothering to ask. So I get down on my knees and I THINK about God. I THINK of an article I read by Scott Hahn or something Jimmy Akin said on the radio and I think what a great point it was and how that ties in with other theological thoughts I’ve read and considered. And instead of just praying to God I’m thinking about God. Sometimes I think I can ponder my way to holiness. I can’t.
In Control. I am doing well. Everyone I know and love is well. I haven’t been to the emergency room in months. Nobody is sick. School is going well for the kids. My career is doing fine. I myself am a Master of my own little Universe and I’m cruising through life with little difficulty. It’s not that I’m rejecting God, it’s just I don’t really need Him currently. I’m treating God like he is that “like a good neighbor- State farm is there” guy. It’s a “don’t call me—I’ll call you” kind of thing.
So now you know I’m the worst prayer in the Western Hemisphere and probably the world. But the good news is that it doesn’t stop me from trying though. And let’s face it, all my shortcomings and sins give me something to ask forgiveness for and pray about. And now that it’s fresh on my mind maybe I’ll go pray. And maybe when you’re done reading this you’ll say a little prayer for me and all us other horrible prayers. I fear there’s lots of us.
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