When I was a fundraising director for an organization in college, I initially had a hard time asking people for money. I thought I was inconveniencing them and would always try to find indirect ways to do the fundraising. This was a barrier that got in the way of my ability to do my job to the fullest and, quite frankly, it was a barrier that I had to overcome. I had a conversation with the previous director who asked me a couple questions that helped me deal with this – he asked, “Do you believe in the organization and what it is trying to do?” I answered yes. “Do you think that others will believe in what the organization is trying to do?” I answered yes. “So don’t deny them the chance to become a partner in what we are doing here,” he finally said. I needed to have that conversation in order to overcome this barrier, and that year we raised 10% more funds than the previous year.
Relating this to our prayer lives, each of us have barriers that get in the way of us praying and connecting to God in the fullest. Since we can seemingly get through life OK without improving our prayer life, many of us often don’t deal with those prayer barriers. If you desire to only have a mediocre prayer life and a mediocre relationship with God, then I suppose that’s OK. On the other hand, if you thirst for a better prayer life, then I encourage you to expose your barriers to a loved one or to someone you look up to spiritually. Talk about the barrier and problem-solve on how to overcome it. Perhaps you think prayer is boring or wonder if prayer even matters at all. Maybe you don’t feel like you have the time to pray or just flat out don’t know how to. Whatever the barrier, talking about it is the first step towards overcoming it.
As I continue to offer “Prayer Tips” in 2010, I invite you to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or comment here on the blog about what your own prayer barriers are so that the tips will be relevant and transforming for our congregation (if you have a barrier to prayer, I promise you that others share that same barrier). In the future, I hope that these prayer tips can serve as a starting point for conversations about our prayer lives on the prayer blog. Also know that your pastors are here to help you overcome these barriers if you would like to get in touch or setup an appointment with your pastorate pastor.