Uncomplicating Prayer: Removing the Barrier and Simplifying the Conversation Between You and God

Day 1 of 3 • This day’s reading

Devotional

I’ve spent a significant part of my life as a Christ-follower. In my late teens and early 20’s, I slipped away for a bit but quickly came back to Christ when my circumstances became less than I knew God’s best was for me.


In all those years, I had been taught many things about prayer. In addition, I was raised by my father who was a strong intercessor with a passion for prayer. It was never a shock to wake up in the early hours of the morning and find my father sitting in the chair praying before he headed off to work. This was his posture in the morning and before he went to bed at night.  I was certain to be a natural prayer warrior, yet in my early 30’s, I was confronted with a painful reality: I didn’t know how to pray.


(At least not the right way.)


Based on all the things I had learned about prayer along the way, it seemed that I had been doing everything wrong.


Pray on your knees; don’t stand up.


Pray in this order; say this first.


Close your eyes; keep your eyes open.


Put your head down; hold it up.


Start the prayer like this; end the prayer like that.


Eventually, I found myself wanting to pray but feeling like I didn’t know how to. It was complicated and confusing, and I didn’t want to say or do the wrong thing and mess up my chances of God hearing my prayer out of all the millions of prayers in the world. If I got it just right, maybe He would hear it and my prayer would be chosen as the winning prayer for the day.


That sounds ridiculous but with all these perceived rules of praying, this is how I felt. It was as if prayer was part of a daily drawing of some sort, and if I followed all the rules, mine would get selected. 


I didn’t realize I struggled with prayer until one day when I needed to get through to God and found myself stalling because I wasn’t confident that my prayers were good enough. I couldn't remember all the rules and would have certainly failed all of the prerequisites for saying the perfect prayer. I was tired of calling others and asking them to pray for me when I knew I could pray for myself if I could just figure out how to cut through the red tape. What was I to do? 


That’s when God, in His loving way, began the journey to help me uncomplicate prayer. It was beautiful, simple, and encouraging. This is the journey that I am excited to share with you. 


Before we begin, I want to ask you to ponder, "What things have you learned about prayer that feel like barriers to your prayer life?"