Prayer that begins with God, not self

Perhaps, like me, you’ve noticed a trend in society—a strong focus on self (as in common terms and catchphrases such as “selfies,” “love yourself,” “treat yourself,” “I am the center of my universe”). This focus on self seems intended to help people feel better about themselves, but in reality I’ve found it lets people down. Ultimately, if taken to its extreme, it fosters self-centeredness, loneliness, and a lack of connection to others or something outside oneself, bringing a sense of longing, insecurity, doubt, and even hopelessness to people’s lives. 

This tendency to focus on self can creep into prayers, so that prayers always begin with “I.” For example, as a Christian Science practitioner, I have heard people who call and ask me to pray for them tell me things like, “I am struggling”; “I have been suffering for years”; “I keep praying”; “I know I am spiritual, good, and loved, but I am still struggling.” 

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