Reading the Bible fervently? No problem. Reading good devotional material? A snap. Service to others? It's one of my gifts. Preaching and proclaiming? I can do that.
These are the things that come fairly natural after years of being in love with and serving King Jesus. And while there are many, many areas in need of improvement (including those listed above), the one area I constantly struggle with prayer. I try. I determinedly set my mind to do it. I set aside time. I try spontaneous prayer. But I always seem, to myself, to come up short for what I think is a dynamic, vibrant prayer life.
I recently re-read a statement made by Richard Foster on prayer where he says...
"The truth of the matter is, we all come to prayer with a tangled mass of motives - altruistic and selfish, merciful and hateful, loving and bitter. Frankly, this side of eternity we will never unravel the good from the bad, the pure from the impure. But what I have come to see is that God is big enough to receive us with all our mixture. We do not have to be bright, or pure, or filled with faith, or anything That is what grace means, and not only are we saved by grace, we live by it as well. And we pray by it."
I long to be that person who "prays without ceasing." But maybe I have to learn to accept that my attempts at prayer are always going to be messy, short of my ideals, and just not perfect.
I pray that I give myself, like Christ has given me, the grace to pray. He does receive us with "all our mixture."