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I have a startling confession to make. Until a few years ago, I was actually awful at prayer.
I also had a friend with a ragged prayer journal who systematically scribbled out his prayer requests. He felt like prayer was a discipline to master. If it wasn't difficult, then you probably weren't doing it right. Although I bought my own prayer journal, most of the pages remained blank.
Don't misunderstand me, I prayed, but it was sporadic. If there was a crisis, or I was in sin, then it wasn't hard to drop to my knees. Yet, if things were going well, I didn't know what to do.
For me, it was hard to escape the specter of sin. I saw God as an angry judge who was displeased with humanity. Those who were truly holy and set apart could pray—but that wasn't me.
When I did pray, it often took on a "transactive" nature. I usually focused on forgiveness or petitioning for things that I lacked. It was all about sin or personal needs, and not much else.
It took a number of years and some amazing encounters, but my understanding of prayer finally began to change.
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