I’m going to be as blunt as possible, I’m afraid to pray. When I was a young kid, every night I would pray for my family’s safety and happiness and couldn’t sleep until I did. As I got older, I got lost in all sorts of distractions, so naturally prayed less.
When I became introduced to Christianity, I began praying more; they were the same kinds of prayers plus some. Funny as it sounds (or sad), I normally prayed that God bless the people I loved and make the people that crossed me repent. I masked it in words of love like “May you show this person your light and soften their heart,” when I was really thinking “what a jerk this one is!” This is an example of praying to a God of my imagination.
When I disengaged from organized religion, I began seeing how incredibly selfish my prayers were. Asking God to bless my family and friends with protection and happiness was not a form of surrendering. I was giving God a list to follow, and setting myself up to hate God if God doesn’t answer. I couldn’t face suffering, but rather pretended that it could be prevented by the muttering of a few words. Sometimes I view suffering as negative experiences, rather than experiences that drives a person to be better or learn the things they ought to learn in this life.
I’ve literally refused to surrender until today and see things for what they are. I’m at the point in my life where I want to pray again, but something is stopping me…the thought that perhaps suffering will inevitably happen (especially when it could be part of God’s will).
What I truly want to pray for is selfish. I’m afraid to pray unselfish prayers. “Your will be done,” encompasses so much of the unknown. I am unsure of what to pray for other than that anymore, nor can I get myself to pray just that.
What do you pray for? What is the right way to pray?
I also posted this on www.contemplationcenter.org (check it out: http://contemplationcenter.org/trang/why-i-am-afraid-to-pray/)