Weaving together the threads that make up my passion for the written word…as an author, editor, and follower of The Word.
I know that I tend to take prayer for granted, and it really is a shame. I get busy, forget, go blank, get tongue-tied, make excuses. At times prayer actually intimidates me. The sheer number of people and situations there are to pray for becomes overwhelming in the moment. How do I know if what I’m asking for is in God’s will, or if I’m making foolish, or selfish prayers? Am I talking too much rather than listening? Or am I not saying enough? When my questions are met by silence, I grow frustrated, and when I do experience God’s presence, I drink in those moments greedily like someone dying of thirst. Yet even in the midst of all my insecurities, doubts, and moments of weakness, I know in my heart that prayer is about having a real, meaningful relationship with the God who loves me. He knows my heart before I speak it…he knows my joys, my dreams, my fear, my brokenness. He knows me better than I know myself, and accepts me as I am, excuses and all.
Sometimes when I feel moved to pray, but don’t know what to say, I repeat the Lord’s Prayer. It has comforted me in moments of desperation and sorrow. But I have also recently gained a new perspective on it based on a sermon I heard from Pastor Greg Laurie. He teaches that this was never meant to be a rote prayer, but a template that lays out how Jesus says we should approach God when we pray. The Lord’s Prayer has since become more open and conversational for me, and helps me get past all of the emotional junk that tends to get in the way.
Prayer is an amazing gift. The God who created the universe actually wants to have a conversation with insignificant me…with you…anytime, anywhere, about anything. He doesn’t care that He already knows it all. He doesn’t lose patience, get bored, irritated, or too busy. He just wants to be close to us–to give us love and guidance, and keep us on the straight and narrow path that leads to eternity in His protective arms. Pretty awesome. Prayer doesn’t always change my circumstances, but honest, persistent prayer changes me, and brings me into a closer relationship with God.
Side note: If anyone is interested in hearing Greg Laurie’s sermon on The Lord’s Prayer, the link is http://www.harvest.org/webcast/player.php?section=archive&event=6&id=1084.
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