There have been many times in my life - usually very dark, sad times - when I've been really good at praying. When I do pray, mostly I write prayers in pretty journals, or on yellow legal paper if that's all I have on hand.
The more I write prayers, the easier it becomes for me to "think" prayers, or even to offer them out loud.
It's been a long time, years, in fact, since I've prayed regularly and purposefully. The longer between my chats with God, the harder it is for me to make the effort to talk. This is not not unlike any relationship, really. You move on from friends, even family, not staying in touch, 'til one day something makes you think of a certain person. I should call her, I think...but I don't always do it. Likewise, I'll go about life, seemingly in control until it throws me somethng that's too big to process. I should pray about this, I think...but I don't always do it.
As the new year sets in, prayer is something to which I feel very strongly about returning. Practicing it has always rewarded my spirit and always been healthy for me. I have been putting it off, though. It's been so long since I've offered more than just a quick request to God that a real heart-to-heart with Him seemed uncomfortable - much like even sharing things about faith sometimes is for me.
I'm happy to say that it took just a few times, before it felt natural. Like riding a bike, one can't really forget how to pray.
The Bible verse that, when at a loss for personal prayers, I pray the most is Isiah 26:3: "I will keep in perfect peace he whose imagination is on Thee". I have prayed this countless times in recent years, so naturally as I was easing back into praying, this verse served as my re-training wheels.
I think all people who pray Scripture will tell you that the same verse can resonate with them in so may ways, and this happened to me recently as I prayed my favorite verse. The word "imagination" [in your Bible it may say "mind" or "thoughts" - but the interpretation is the same] kept ringing the loudest.
Friends who know me well will agree - I have one crazy, twisted, peculiar, wild and often angst-fueled imagination. Sometimes it serves me well, and sometimes it haunts me. If you recall - as I surely did while repating this verse - all my thoughts on starting 2011 centered around imagining my new year- storyboarding my thoughts, bringing to life my imagination to shape this new year.
As I prayed "I will keep in perfect peace he whose imagination is on Thee" I kind of got this message:
Quit it with your imagination.
Quit it with just thinking about how to organize your life.
Focus on Thee. Focus through Thee. That focus, I pray, is where I will find perfect peace.