prayer and being haunted by past failures

Confession: Only once have I actually stuck with and completed a Scripture Study.  Only once.

I have started countless Bible and Scripture Studies, embarked on several scheduled attempts to read the daily readings or dig into the lives of the saints or set aside dedicated time for prayer.  And every time, save one, I have failed.  Usually the failure came only a few days in and was rationalized with a pathetic excuse.

And that’s the truth.  When it comes to dedicated prayer, I have a history of failure.  And this fact, this identity  of being failure at prayer, has been haunting me lately.  It is making me doubt myself and wonder why I even try.

Advent is all the sudden breathing down my throat and I have committed to do a 4 week lectio divina study.  I want to do this study–and I sort of need to since I created it and am part of a trio of women leading an active Facebook group through the study.  So, I really had better do the study and do it well.  I wish I didn’t need this motivation, but I kinda do.

I am determined to put the time in to this study and (hopefully) reap rich rewards.

But I have been determined before…and we all know how those times ended.

prayer failures

I am writing this post not just to moan, or to give myself an out.  I am writing this because I have a feeling I’m not the only one that feels like a total failure when it comes to organized prayer.  And I bet I’m not the only one that gets down on myself for this.  Sometimes I just shake my head and think, “Satan must see me as some low hanging fruit.  The littlest obstacle gets thrown in my path and it’s over.  I am so pathetic.”  And the doubt spreads and everything looks a little bit grimmer.

In reality I’m not a total failure when it comes to prayer.  I depend on God and speak to Him often during the day. I cling to Him desperately in my daily hours of need.  Gus and I have an on-going conversation about sin, God, sacrifice and holiness and we enjoy daily mass several times a week.

But, do I spend time daily in the quiet, reading His word, waiting for His response and glorying in his presence?  Well, no, I don’t.

Ever since my kids arrived on the scene I have been giving myself the “kid-out”, claiming that this just isn’t the season of life for adoration, The Liturgy of the Hours…or quiet prayer in any form.  The kids were always on me, asking for things, needing things.  And when they were sleeping I have a house to clean and after that I’m too exhausted to do anything but watch Netflix or sleep.

But I need this study.  I need to live in the Word again.  I can feel this need and longing in the deepest part of my chest.  I am determined to dedicate myself to this study this Advent, but I remain scared of failure.

prayer and failure

The one study I actually did complete was a lectio divina based study and the reason I stuck with it is because it was so fruitful and refreshing every single daily I did it.  I got to the point where I craved my time alone with the Word.

So, here’s hoping this is a successful Advent for me, and for you.  And here’s hoping my success with this study helps me realize I’m not a prayer failure.

Let’s prove this to ourselves together.

If you are interested in joining us, you can find all the details on this study HERE.

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