Cara Ruble has been a member of Risen Lord for almost 15 years, teaches the adult bible study on Sunday mornings, is part of the Redevelopment Team, on Council and is the current President.
I have to admit that I have struggled with prayer. I never knew what to say, I didn’t know how to say it, I believed my thoughts were insignificant, and I thought God was too busy to listen. I was only comfortable with the memorized prayers (and only when someone else was leading them). Then while I was going through catechism I found great relief in the Romans 8:26-27: Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. That’s right, we do not know how to pray as we ought. The Spirit intercedes—which meant to me that I was off the hook. I didn’t need to participate actively in prayer because someone was kind enough to do this for me. Thank you, Holy Spirit! This passage, however, is for those in crisis and not meant to be a lifestyle. The Spirit helps us in our weakness and I was being called to grow stronger in faith. About 5 years ago I was asked to lead the adult bible study on Sundays. To be honest, I almost turned this down because I was petrified to lead the opening and closing prayer. Reading the Bible and leading the discussion was something I looked forward to. This was helping me grow stronger in faith, but the relationship with God was underdeveloped. I was starting to understand that the relationship could only happen through dialogue, and the dialogue could only happen through prayer. Praying is connecting one’s faith to God’s mission in the world. Prayer makes you open and receptive to the Holy Spirit. Prayer is paying attention to God. I felt for the longest time that prayer was very personal—an intimate 1:1 conversation between me and God. In the adult bible study, the class moved from the booklets that did “flyovers” into an in-depth reading of each chapter. This shift meant that the opening and closing prayers would not be written out in a booklet. I searched through both the bible and google finding the prayers already written out. Then inspiration came and I started to write down the opening and closing prayers. This was the bridge between the intimate conversations and leading public prayer. The apostles also struggled with prayer and asked Jesus to teach them in Luke 11:1-4: He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.” Prayer to me is still very intimate. I have been blessed to be part of a discipleship huddle where I have been learning how to share my faith with others and this includes praying. Prayer is a beautiful thing. This how to be in relationship with God. My thoughts may still be insignificant, but my faith tells me that God still wants to know how the world looks through my eyes, sounds through my ears, and feels through my body. I want to know God too! The only way that I can truly listen is through prayer.