There’s nothing quite like inadequacy

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Today I started teaching a new series of Bible studies on prayer. I should add that I didn’t choose this topic! For weeks I had been looking forward to today with excitement (to see the 70+ women in the group all again), and also trepidation. I feel horribly under-qualified to teach on prayer: it has always been something that I have struggled with, felt guilty about, wanted to do better in but not felt able to. In thinking about it, I realized I feared that I would get up to teach and be exposed as a great fraud: someone who should know how to pray, but really… struggled a great deal.

So I spent my weeks doing the preparation, and this morning got up to confess to a room full of women and made my “big disclaimer”… about how I struggled with faith, focus and fervency in prayer. How my mind wanders. How I wonder what difference it makes. And I shared too though that I’m realizing more and more that this comes as no surprise to God. The more I read on prayer, the more I realize that God anticipates our weakness, and helps us in it. Prayer is not for those who are spiritually ‘strong’ and have it all together… it is for those who are weak, and know we need help.

How liberating for me (I’m so grateful for this) to be able to confess my inadequacy to a crowd, and have woman after woman come up to me and say “I thought I was the only one!!” Because there I was… thinking that I was the only one.

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Photo credit: Christa Norman, Mel Draper Photography, and Jonathan Summer