How To Pray When You Don’t Know What To Say

Not long ago, I taught on an often overlooked Prayer Practice – Prayerful Plagiarism. It’s a way that you and I can beg, borrow, and steal the faith of others when we most desperately need it. This may just be the very prayer you need today…

Ted Loder’s book “Guerrillas of Grace” is a collection of prayers that tends to find me when I most need it.
They are raw, honest, beautiful, and help connect my heart to the words that my mouth can’t seem to find.

Today’s Plagiarized Prayer is called “How Shall I Pray”.
It’s for all of us who find ourselves too exhausted and overwhelmed to try and pretend with God. When words give way to tears and tears give way to silence.
May can be YOUR prayer today.

How shall I pray?
            Are tears prayers, Lord?
            Are screams prayers,
                        or groans
                        or sighs
                        or curses?
Can trembling hands be lifted to you,
            or clenched fists
                        or the cold sweat that trickles down my back
                                    or the cramps that knot my stomach?
Will you accept my prayers, Lord,
            my real prayers,
                        rooted in the muck and the mud and the rock of my life,
and not just my pretty, cut-flower, gracefully arranged
            bouquet of words?
Will you accept me, Lord,
            as I really am,
                        messed up mixture of glory and grime?
Lord, help me!
Help me to trust that you do accept me as I am,
that I may be done with self-condemnation
            and self-pity
                        and accept myself.
Help me to accept you as you are, Lord:
and yet to trust
            that your madness is wiser
                        than my timid, self-seeking sanities,
and that nothing you’ve ever done
            has really been possible,
so I may dare to be a little mad, too.


Can you relate to this prayer?

Does this resonate with your Soul?

Can you make it YOUR prayer today?

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