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Pray as you can, not as you can’t

2022-2-22 | Kate Cogswell

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV


Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Ephesians 6:18 NLT


More than once, scripture invites us to “pray at all times,” yet many of us are discouraged rather than challenged or inspired when we hear this call to prayer.

We know we should pray, yet we can wonder how praying at all times is even possible. We can compare ourselves to others we feel pray “better” or more often than we do. We can get caught in believing there is a “right way” to pray. We allow ourselves to feel shame when we “forget” to pray. Or maybe we have defined prayer in a way that makes us feel we just can’t do it.

In the chapter on prayer in Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster encourages us to “remember that God always meets us where we are and slowly moves us along into deeper things.”

So start where you are. Pray as you can, not as you can’t.

Allow God the space to meet you where you are and move you into deeper things, deeper places with Him.

Allow yourself to be curious about prayer. Experiment with God in prayer. Keep practicing your current prayer practices, try new ones, let God guide you.

Remind yourself that prayer is simply an interactive conversation with God and something we can build step by step over time.

"The primary purpose of prayer is to bring us into such a life of communion with the Father that, by the power of the Spirit, we are increasingly conformed to the image of the Son."

Richard Foster, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home

So I invite you to continue to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to move along the path from curiosity to Christoformity as we practice prayer together.

Here are two potential “next steps” in your prayer journey:

  • Commit to pray for these three strategic initiatives at ECC.
  • To search for and call a successful Pastor of Young Adults.
  • To develop an ECC Care Team
  • To redevelop and reinvigorate a flourishing small groups ministry, now to be known as “Life Groups”

 Find more specific ways to pray for these three areas in Pastor Stacey’s article Becoming Something Beautiful.

  • We have guides for different prayer practices available on our website at ecclife.net/prayer-practices. This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but may give you something new to try. Also watch for the opportunity to sign up for the 2022 Lenten Text Prompts as we invite everyone into a season of prayer.