I forget to pray.
When I’m dashing from one task to the next I tend to rely on my own abilities and strengths to carry me through. When I see something heart-wrenching my first instinct is to either run away and try to ignore it or immediately try to think of a way I, on my own, can do something about it. When something troubles me I ruminate on it incessantly and try to figure out on my own.
So often I turn to myself first rather than to God.
Even when I turn to God I tend to pray about things that are going on in my life – my worries, my health, my concerns, my circumstances, my family. My prayers are so rushed that I don’t make room for anyone else’s concerns.
Then Sunday comes and I stand (or kneel) for the prayers of the people. We pray for the world, the church, our nation and community. We pray for persecuted Christians, church leaders, the sick and the suffering. Each prayer reminds me that God is active in the world and that I should turn first to him in every circumstance. By praying the same requests each week I can also see ways that God exercises his kindness, mercy, love and faithfulness in his answers to our prayers.
And so each week I will pray with my brothers and sisters, “Lord, in your mercy,” – not my strength – “hear our prayer.” Not just my prayers. The prayers of God’s people.