I’ve been steadily building up my prayer life since Lent, to the point now where I have a regular routine of prayer. I have an hour set aside at night during which I say the Rosary then read through the Evening Office (from here), followed by prayers for other people. I keep a Prayer Journal, and each day I write down in it the names of people I will be praying for that evening (including prayer requests that have come up in this community). I then conclude this with reading a chapter or two of a spiritual book; currently I’m reading my way through “Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light”.
Last night, I was suddenly struck by the thought that in all my prayers every evening for the past three months, not once have I prayed for myself. I thought on why this might be, and came to the realisation that it feels somehow selfish to pray for myself. I can ask others to pray for me (though that, too, feels almost… I don’t know, self-centred? Self-indulgent?) but it just doesn’t feel right to pray directly for myself.
This may be, in part, a hangover from old ways as a Wiccan before I converted; in Wicca one is taught that all magic and divination should be for others, not the self, and that you should never try to see your own future. Or perhaps this is a block placed against me, so that I cannot pray for myself; I have been warned that occult powers will not let go of me so easily, and certainly I have been aware of temptations placed in my path which, thanks be to God, I have thus far avoided. I am aware of some of my old feelings of doubt creeping back during unwary moments, but each time I have found that praying a decade or two of the Rosary or reading a spiritually-inspiring passage overcomes them and fills me with awareness of the Holy Spirit once more. At my baptism, David and Jackie gave me a holding cross as a baptismal gift, and holding that also helps comfort and reassure me.
I wonder, do others have problems praying for themselves, or is this something I should work harder at? Should I be asking others to pray for me to overcome this block?