Prayer helps with loneliness. When we feel isolated or feel we are fighting alone in a desperate situation, God is there. But how do we talk to Him?
Recently my mother and I had a conversation about that. She has always memorized hymns and Bible verses that she finds inspiring. And so, in her reminiscing, she felt sad that my father never had that kind of comfort. Always relying on her prayers, Dad hadn’t memorized anything of his own. He had nothing to establish a context or a connection for prayer, no way to begin the conversation! Does that description fit you, as well?
When we are children, in Sunday school or at bedtime, most of us memorize some basic rhymes and songs. The problem, though, is that we may never add to these simple childlike verses. And yet, as we mature, shouldn’t our conversation with God mature too?
The problem, though, is that committing some of our favorite glimpses of God to memory usually doesn’t just happen. It takes time and determination. Perhaps an easy way to begin is to read something that inspires us, the same thing, day after day until we can recite it from memory. For me, as with my mother, the poetry in hymns contains an endless store of moments with God.
However we choose to do it, we need to start the conversation now. Enlarging the place in our heart for prayer strengthens and sustains our faith and our believing. As George LeFebvre, a Benedictine monk, wrote: “Prayer is an end to isolation. It is living our daily life with someone.” (Living Large 2013)