• Christina Van Starkenburg

What I Didn’t Know About Prayer



One year ago, I stood before the members of my congregation and made my profession of faith. In the months leading up to that moment, I learned a lot about the Christian Reformed Church and spent time reflecting on my own journey as a Christian. Two things stood out to me: one, I should probably reflect on my faith more than I do, and two, praying is not my forte. 


Most of my prayers are haphazard “God help me’s” or the scripted prayers of my childhood. You know: “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray dear Lord my soul to keep. . . .” They were void of emotion. They were merely words. They were not a conversation with my God.


WANTING MORE In the Bible, we are instructed to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:16-18) and to “not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Phil. 4:6-7).


In crisis situations, I am pretty good at praying nonstop. I know what I need, and I know how to ask for it. But in the everyday? I don’t know what to say. I craved more, but I didn’t know how to go deeper. I’d stare at my Bible and wonder, “if prayer is so important to Christianity, why does Jesus only give us one example?”


LOOKING FOR ANSWERS So I did what any good millennial would do and turned to the internet. Surely I could not be the only Christian in the world with questions about prayer. I found more scripted prayers. Unfortunately, praying an adult version of a static prayer did not go to the heart of the problem. There was still no life in my prayer. I kept looking.


{read the full article at Christian Courier}

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