I'll admit it - I struggle with prayer. Yes - this Curate's wife just doesn't get it. It's not that I don't pray - it's just that often I struggle with 'corporate' prayer - although at other times, it is reassuring to join in with familiar words that come readily to mind because of years of sitting in Anglican church pews. I have read books about prayer and tried to understand how we are supposed to respond in prayer. But it is being able to be still and silent when I feel closer to God - on top of the mountain, in a magnificent empty cathedral with a vaulted ceilings, in the middle of a flowering meadow or on an empty beach. I need to be somewhere where I can still my mind and put down the day's events- and that is not usually in Church. I need space to be and to give thanks.
Why does open or shared prayer still make me feel so uncomfortable? I didn't experience this until I was in my twenties. I have had years to get use to it but so often I feel I am listening to someone's shopping list of requests or relaying of community problems. Surely God knows what we need and He must be aware of the problems that may surround us? I don't want to open my heart for everyone else to chew over my problems.
Should we all be saying the same prayers - when we are all individuals? Are we suppose to babble away individually at God all the time? Think of the film Bruce Almighty where Bruce is given God's powers for a week - and he hears all the people praying all the time.
Why do I feel so prickly being prayed for - yet other people find it so powerful? Why do 'Holy huddles' make me feel awkward and ...yes I'll admit it - embarrassed.
How are we supposed to pray?
What is prayer?