"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus". - Phil. 4:6-7
"Pray without ceasing" - 1 Thes 5:17
I don't pray nearly enough. My prayer life is pretty terrible. I mean, God and I have conversations and discussions, and goodness I complain enough to him, but I don't pray enough. I don't spend time meditating on His goodness, promises and Word. I don't speak to Him enough about the big stuff and the little stuff. People ask me to pray for things, or I volunteer to pray for someone, and unless I do it right then and there, I usually forget. And in the name of transparency, I just forget about God. I go about my day, trying to solve my problems on my own, and I simply forget that I'm supposed to be running stuff by the Creator of the Universe. I go to church on Sunday, where usually I'm moved to tears during worship where I'm reminded of the beauty of just being in the presence of the Lord. I feel guilty, and I promise to do better.
But then I go back to my old ways.
I've found that when I don't pray enough, my stress level rises. When I don't pray enough, my attitude is bad and I usually have to apologize to my husband, friends or co workers. There are more tears, frustrations and confusions when I don't pray enough. I question God a lot more, even though in essence I'm supposed to be trusting in Him. I am impatient and peace is gone from my heart.
When I'm hit with the realization that my prayer life is seriously lacking, I usually reflect on why. Why is this such a recurrent issue for me? What is causing this. And ultimately, I think my struggle is due to a lack of faith. I think deep down, I question that God can and will do great things in my life. I've always struggled with faith, probably due to my strong independent nature and problem solver mentality. But the times I've had the most faith were when I spent the most time in prayer. Its interesting, isn't it? The thing I'm lacking is keeping me from praying consistently, but when I pray consistently I grow in my areas of weakness. God is incredible in that way, isn't he?
So I'm making a commitment. I have a 45 minute commute to work every morning. Usually I listen to talk radio and the news, and am flooded with bad news right when I start my day. For the rest of this week, I'm going to pray on my way to work. No talk radio, maybe some worship music, but a lot of prayer. And I'm praying for two specific things this week. My husband needs a job. I'm praying that the Lord provides a new step in that direction for him. I'm going to ask for Brent a job this week, but I'll accept if that's not what God wants. The other is a personal desire in my heart that I don't feel like I should broadcast on the Internet. But I'm going to ask specifically for this too. I don't think it is possible, but then I remind myself that all things are possible with the Lord. And even if it isn't possible for me right now, maybe its something that will happen in the future. And who knows, maybe a miracle will happen. God can do it, I just have to remind myself of that a lot.
I wonder if I'm the only one who has 'prayer problems'. Do you have things you aren't praying for because you're afraid of disappointment? Or do you just not pray sometimes like me, even though you know you should? Or do you forget? I hope my musings have helped you realize that you're not alone. I hope we can all share these shortfalls more often so we can help each other along this journey with Jesus.