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Prayer Can Be A State Of Mind. Abba, Father.

I'll be honest. I can struggle with prayer. My most passionate prayers have probably happened in the darkest times of my life, either when I'm completely prostrate on the floor in my living room sobbing, or shouting in confusion and anger when I'm alone in the car. My pre-meal and other public prayers can get pretty generic. And, as a worship leader who has been hurt by the Church, I struggle to focus during the musical portion of corporate worship. I'm either mentally analyzing the music, or dwelling on the pain in my past. My mind can be so hyperactive and flighty that it's difficult to pray concisely before it wanders again.

So, I just close my eyes and say "Abba, Father."

I'll say it a few more times. I'm praying continuously to God, bringing forth the issues of my heart (which I don't need to describe for Him), acknowledging His sovereignty and my frailty, and expressing my desire to trust and love Him more. And I pray all of that by only saying two words. Sometimes I'll say them under my breath at work. Sometimes I'll say them regularly in my head during the day.

This is an example of "unceasing prayer" as discussed in the seventh chapter of A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller. When I first started reading this book, I was skeptical. I had tried to read a few books on prayer before, and none were able to help my wimpy and flighty mind. But this book did. I remember when we discussed this book as a pastoral staff at my then-church several years ago, a fellow associate pastor cleverly summed up my reaction to the seventh chapter: "Prayer can be a state of mind."

If you think you're not a good pray-er for whatever reason, please give this book a read. It's not a book about intimidating disciplines or unnecessary legalism. It encourages you to see prayer for what it always has been: intimate communication with the Father God that truly loves you.

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