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The Pastor’s Pen

I’ve done something recently that I swore I’d never do again. I’ve starting playing golf. In fact, the sport has been so frustrating to me over the years that the last time I sold my clubs, I asked Cheryl to remind me how horrible an experience golf is for me. I also asked her to forbid me from ever purchasing another set again.

What changed?

Most of you know I’m a tennis player. But I’ve noticed the knees have more trouble recovering from a match, and I’ve started asking a really good question. How long can I realistically play? Then, throw in the fact that you need at least three others for a match.  Because who in their right mind plays singles into their forties?

So, I’ve started playing golf again. I’m absolutely dreadful, and yet the whole experience is absolutely wonderful.

What changed?

Well, in short, my perspective. One of the things about my personality is that I want to do things to perfection. Usually the routine was this: buy good clubs, fail to meet my own expectations, quit. It was a self-defeating cycle that quickly ended any chance I had at a golf game of any sort.

I wonder if our prayer lives are similar? When our expectation is that we pray like Billy Graham or Mother Teresa, we can grow frustrated and disappointed. When we believe prayer to be done only by saints who have their lives “just right,” we will never approach God for this intimate, holy time.

As I begin anew in golf, I have no expectations. Well, I do want to have fun, enjoy nature, and get some exercise. But the real goal on the course is for me to simply be. Can we look at prayer the same way? Prayer is simply making space for God in our daily lives. The goal of a healthy prayer life is to simply be with God.

Carve out some time each day to pray (Remember, Jesus uses the word “abide.”).  Place no other expectations on this time except that you will simply be. That, friends, may be one of the secrets to a life of prayer. See you Sunday when we’ll talk about another thing disciples love to do! What is it? Come and see!