Or rather, I stink at prayer. I have been reading Thomas Merton from the book, Devotional Classics and it has enlightened me of how poor my prayer life truly is. I pray. I journal. I read (and read and read.) If you ask my wife, she may tell you I read too much… But still, sometimes prayer doesn’t make me feel better. Merton helps me here. He writes, “a hard and apparently fruitless meditation may in fact be much more valuable than one that is easy, happy, enlightened, and apparently a big success.” He goes on to say that sometimes prayer follows the passage of death to life in Christ. (See Psalm 39 and 56) In other words, sometimes prayer helps us recognize that we are helpless and broken. I thank God for the Spirit which enlightens, guides, and even prays for me when I don’t know what to say.
Merton ends with this encouraging statement which I totally resonate with. “We do not want to be beginners. But let us be convinced of the fact that we will never be anything else but beginners.” Does that ring true for you at all?