I passed a milestone today in church -- I led the Prayers of the Church without a net; without notes.
While I speak extemporaneously to groups all the time in my work, and while I've probably had more experience praying extemporaneously in group settings than the average Fritz or Frieda in Lutherland, for some reason I've not been able to pray the Prayers of the Church without first writing them down. I'm a writer at heart, not a speaker; I'm just more comfortable reading than riffing.
But this week, truth be told, I felt too tired and unmotivated to wrap my head around the task at hand. Dragging through the morning today in my oxygen-deprived, sinus-medicine-enhanced haze, I more or less told God, "I'm on autopilot. I can't think any harder about this. Please help me."
Which, of course, God did. My prayer wasn't as "pretty" as it could have been, but it covered the bases, and was sparse enough to, I hope, give listeners room to shape their own prayers around the basic petitions.