Growing up in the Catholic church and attending a Catholic school for 9 years, our theology courses weren’t very thorough. I learned that Jesus loved me and gave his life for me. I learned the 10 commandments (and watched the movie every year). I also learned about the Sacraments and performing them without even really comprehending what I was doing.
Praying is not something that I learned how to do on my own. I learned the Catholic prayers: The Hail Mary, Our Father, Apostle’s Creed etc. Now, switching to a more contemporary church setting, I’m surrounded by prayer warriors. Constantly, I am intimidated by the leaders at my church and their fancy language and jargon during prayer.
I’ve spent time studying how to pray because I just didn’t know how or I didn’t know how to make it as fluent as the leaders. The people I spent time watching on YouTube and credible theology sites I visited had teaching methods, techniques and even acronyms to remember for order of what to say during prayer! As I was watching these videos, honestly, I felt ridiculous.
Remembering that this scenario was very similar to Matthew 6, Jesus warned his apostles about “prayer warriors” and their ways. Jesus only gave one simple example when teaching His apostles how to pray:
Matthew 6 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. "
Speak to the Lord whatever is on your heart. He knows your troubles, struggles and your insecurities before you even speak them. Talk to Him. The Lord wants to be your friend. A friendship can only take place when there in communication. That communication is not through memorization but speaking what is on your heart.
Don’t be afraid or intimidated by other people’s prayers and the way they pray. Fear in prayer is exactly the opposite of what prayer is supposed to bring. Prayer is supposed to be reverent, peaceful and intimate, not fearful of judgement.