Praying aloud grew less daunting with time and practice. I pray that fact gives hope to all you other public prayer novices. To all of you who have a comfortable prayer routine, I invite you to journey with me and try new ways to pray.
Remembering your first encounters with prayer.
During my first week of college, I heard some excitable freshmen exclaim, “The professors pray before class! I’ve never been to a school where they prayed before class! That’s really cool!” I shook my head, thinking, “Soon the novelty will wear off.” Since I had attended a few years of Christian high school prior to college, prayer before class seemed commonplace to me. At the time, I thought that the freshmen’s words revealed their naiveté, but now I admire the freshness and enthusiasm in their perspective.
A similarly fresh spirit of enthusiasm abounds in many passages of scripture, such as these words from Psalm 145:I will extol You, my God, O King; And I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works. (Vs.1-2, 5, NKJV)
Could you honestly pray the psalmist’s words? Psalm 145 through Psalm 150 all praise God with enthusiastic words. Are you this excited to pray?
Revisiting my first encounters with prayer—the times when I felt excited to pray or stood amazed at how prayer could intersect my life at unforeseen times—helps in pursuits of revitalizing current prayer practices. I not only rediscover my first, exciting encounters with prayer, but I also aim to ignite a more deeply rooted joy than that of a student during the “honeymoon phase” of freshman year. If you decide to rediscover meaningful and awe-inspiring instances of prayer, I hope these memories propel you into a deeper and more meaningful prayer practice.