Pray with your heart, not your head.

“They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers”. Acts 1:14

Many of us have heard stories about a baby’s first words. Moms had spent time coaching (and possibly bribing) their little ones to say momma, while dads just stood around waiting for the first words. In anticipation, families would gather around the baby coaching those first words from their lips. Often, as all stared excitingly, the baby would start to speak, slowly starting with the sound mmma …. mmma … and then … DADA. All would laugh, and some were surprised. Despite the coaching the baby said what was baby was comfortable saying. Language can be taught and with practice and guidance, the baby will learn more words. But the baby started to talk by saying something the baby decided to say and not what the parents wanted it to say.

How many books exist about prayer?  The answer is many. It seems as soon after humanity could record their thoughts, books on prayer appeared. We can read books on what to pray, why to pray, how to pray, where to pray and even when to pray. Jesus, who lived as a man in a culture where prayer was commonplace, was even asked by His disciples to teach them to pray. So, with all we have available to us, why do we struggle to pray? Is prayer really that hard that we need all these references to understand it?   

When a baby says its first words it does so because it feels right. Soon they learn the value of saying more words because those words draw them closer to the ones they love.  Frankly, some of us might need to grow up and say our first real prayer. Once they come out of our lips, it becomes easy after that. We also find value in going beyond that first prayer and talking with the One who, we read in Zachariah 2:8, refers to us as the “Apple of His eye”. Start by telling God what you want to say and not what you have been coached to say.