I do not pray much.
I've always been shown and taught that prayer is something internal, something that happens entirely within yourself. You might sometimes pray out loud in a group, or over dinner, but for the most part it should be happening in your head.
This is the worst place that it could happen for me. I can focus for all of maybe 10 seconds before my mind wanders happily off on some other thought trail.
Okay. God. Yes. Where was I? Oh right, thank you God for my family. Thank you for this wonderful apartment I live in. Couch. Yeah we need to get another couch for the living room. I should check Craigslist to see if there is anything there. I'll leave myself a reminder on my phone so I don’t forget. Crap! God. Forgiveness please.
I have struggled with this my ENTIRE life. I am no closer at 30 to being able to pray in my head than I was at 5. So what does this mean for me? Am I hopeless? My solution up until now has been to generally just not pray. That way I don’t get frustrated, and I don’t feel like I’m insulting God every time my mind wanders, win-win. Except that prayer is supposed to be one of a Christian’s most important activities. It’s our communication with our Creator. How can we have a relationship without communication?
An idea came to me one day as I was sitting in my office about to leave for a very important meeting. My first option was to try and pray in my head, which meant battling random thoughts for a few minutes before giving up in frustration. My other option was to pray out loud in my office and hope that people thought I was talking on the phone.
What if I had somewhere that I could pray discreetly, in a format that would allow me to concentrate? This is when the idea for This I Pray was born. I wanted to leverage the ability I have to focus that comes with typing, with the context of being in front of a computer for most of the day, to gain some traction in my communication and relationship with God.
The purpose of this website is simple, it gives you a space to pray to God that is only a click away. If you’re in a meeting and don’t want to close your eyes, or stare off into space to pray, or don’t want to have to start pacing up and down the room with your hands held high, this is a more discreet alternative.
I have found myself using it quite a bit since I put it online. I’ve used it before interviews, before meeting with friends, while standing in line at the post office, and as a way to build some spiritual discipline into my life. It is a very simple concept, but that is why it works for me. You go, you type your prayer, you hit ‘Amen’, and you’re done. The prayer isn't stored anywhere, isn't sent anywhere, and is totally and completely private.
Try it and let me know what you think. If you’re like me and struggle with prayer, try to use it once a day for a week and let me know the results.