I Hated to Pray
The first thing you need to know is that for the first few years of marriage, I hated saying prayers. Let me clarify that... I didn't hate praying in general, I had no problem saying my own personal prayers, I just didn't like to pray in front of others. I hated how it made me feel, because I would compare prayers.
I had been taught to speak to my Heavenly Father with respect but also like I would talk to my own father and that's exactly what I had always done. That is until I married my sweet husband.
His voice is deep and commanding even when he whispers. You can't help but listen when he speaks because he is somehow able to convey the sincerity, conviction and strength of the good man he is from the very first word. I still remember the first time we knelt as a couple by the side of the bed. He took the first turn and I was blown away. It was a beautiful, perfectly worded and heart filled prayer that sounded more like the prayers I had heard over the pulpit. I even asked him one day, if he had taken a class on praying when he was at BYU. I was totally serious and NO, he did not. For example...
On the other hand, I would say something like this: "Seriously, I'm trying to have faith but I can't take much more. Please help me not to have a complete melt down before this trial is over. I've learned enough. I've heard people say having lots of money can be a trial of sorts. Can I please trade for that one? Sorry, I was kidding. Uh, sort of..."
I would remember a talk I once heard where the woman speaking said if a prayer wasn't sincere enough, the person praying would have a "stupor of thought" after he said Amen. I can't count the number of times I ended my prayer saying "Amen" followed by a voice in my head saying, 'Don't think anything stupid. Dont think anything stupid..' leading in to, 'Oh my gosh, I just said that in my head...and it was stupid! Agh!!!!!'
Next to my dear husband, my prayers sounded ridiculous. Or so I thought. It took a while but eventually I grew to understand a few important things about praying. Once my children were old enough to learn about prayer, it sunk in even more.
I realized the words I use are not nearly as important as the spirit in which those words are spoken. It doesn't matter if your voice is loud and strong or soft and shaking, as long as it speaks the truth. It doesn't matter who's turn it is as long as you pray with your family and teach your children to do the same.
At the end of the day, whether it is personal prayer, a prayer in front of others, family prayer, or the prayer of a child, the important thing is that we PRAY. Period.
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