As a kid and teenager, I relied on two basic prayers: begging prayers largely related to algebra and boys, and the prayers I’d memorized in Saturday morning catechism classes: the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Act of Contrition. In college I stopped believing in God, so I stopped praying altogether.
When I came back to faith in my late thirties I struggled with prayer. Often I forgot to pray at all, and when I did remember, I worried I wasn’t doing it right.
I didn’t talk to God like he was an intimate friend or a beloved parent. Instead I approached him like I would a CEO – politely and respectfully, but on-guard. I felt like I needed to be on my best behavior with God.