In the last week, it occurred to me that I forgot exactly how to pray.
I've been asking for other people's prayers but when it came to me doing it, I felt like I wasn't doing it right. I had trouble quieting my mind and thinking of eloquent words to say to the sky. Struggling to censor anger and fear with a more pleasant request for leniency and strength.
Last night I listened to the program "Return to the Scene of the Crime" on This American Life. In a segment of the program, local author and sex columnist, Dan Savage, talks about how he grew up Catholic. He came out to his mother in his teens and ever since then he couldn't reconcile the Catholic church's beliefs (for instance, gays going to hell) with all the things he believed (that he was a good person).
His mother was the opposite, she could fit all her beliefs within the confines of the religion, even if her beliefs differed from the Pope's. He called her a good "American Catholic." She believed in birth control and gay rights and that women could be priests and they should all be able to marry.
Because she knew her son had fallen away from the religion she would say, "I know you don't pray, but keep me in your thoughts."
So last night, after hearing this, I kind of decided that to make it easier on myself, to make it less intimidating, I would just think about praying as "keeping you in my thoughts."
I've been praying all day.
I don't find it coincidental that I chose to listen to this podcast last night, just in time to ease my mind. I take it as a sign that God is always listening to me, even though I have trouble talking to him.
You can listen to the radio show HERE. Dan's segment starts at the 38 minute mark.