“How do I pray?” is the wrong question.

In the movie Gravity, there is a touching scene where Sandra Bullock’s character, facing certain death, explains in tears that she never prayed in her life because no one ever taught her how. It’s heart wrenching, but its misleading.

Sandra’s character is wrong. She never needed anyone to teach her to pray and the absence of that “teaching” is not the reason she never tried. There is no correct or incorrect way to pray. There is no teaching required. The question is not, “How do I pray,” the real question is just, “Am I willing?” Am I willing to turn my attention to God? Am I willing to offer whatever is in my heart, my mind? Am I willing to turn my attention, my thoughts my words toward God even though I’m likely to feel foolish and alone?

If you find yourself asking “how” to pray, admit that you already know, it’s just uncomfortable. You think that if you knew some mysterious “how” for prayer, it would feel better, somehow less vulnerable. But no amount of teaching or theology will make prayer any different. Willingness will.

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