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Many of us need to be more honest about prayer. We need to tell the truth.
We're not very good at it.
We doubt and question its effectiveness, wondering if it does any good at all, all the while putting in little effort on our part.
As a result, many of us live lives devoid of the power of God's Spirit. Our faith becomes anemic, and our belief in God is little more than a formality or nicety.
I hope that I can be so bold as to say that many of us need to relearn how to pray.
My old pastor once gave me a prayer by Charles Whiston (which comes from his book Pray: a study of distinctively Christian praying) called the "Snowflake Prayer."
Apparently, Whiston would pray this pray every day for years. He believed that over time, this prayer would be like one snowflake falling upon another.
If you pray it once or twice, it wouldn't make much of a difference, but if you prayed it again and again, it could change your life (and the lives of others).
As snowflakes compact against each other on a mountainside, they grow in density and size. Ultimately, they form a glacial mass that can chip away at the roughest pieces of rock.
So it is with the snowflake prayer.
For some of you, this sounds like religion. More work. Legalism. It's not. Or at least, it doesn't have to be.
I believe in the power of persevering prayer, of continually bringing our needs to God and trusting him with them. And I believe God honors our persistence.
So, I'm confessing that in my busyness and constant connectivity (to, well, everything), I'm not very good at prayer. I get bored. Or distracted. Or it just doesn't seem all that important in light of other priorities.
But today, I'm praying the snowflake prayer. Feel free to join me.
Here it is, in case you want to use it:
O Lord Jesus Christ:
to your holy claim upon me,
I give myself anew to you this day;
All that I am, all that I have,
To be wholly and unconditionally
yours for your using.
Take me away from myself,
And use me up
As you will,
When you will,
Where you will,
With whom you will.