So often I hear people describe their prayer life by saying that they are ‘trying’ to pray. I am always curious about what that actually means. Is it that they want to pray but don’t have the time, or they start to pray but get distracted by things that are more interesting? The strangest thing is that we say this as though it is a suitable answer.

You never hear people say that they are ‘trying’ to eat, or ‘trying’ to breathe. We understand that these things are necessary for survival. If we don’t eat or breathe then we die. ‘Trying’ is not an option.

We need to understand that prayer is food for the soul. We were made by God and for God, and so if we do not have a relationship with God, then we are dead, or at least in the process of dying.

Most of the time, eating and breathing are not particularly exciting past-times. We do these things simply because we know that we need them. Yet we seem to judge prayer by how entertaining or stimulating it was. In the same way, when we are working hard, we know that we need to eat more and breathe faster. Yet we so often are tempted to think that when we are busy we should pray less. We need to start to see prayer as food and pray for the wisdom to know how desperately we need this nourishment in our lives.