February 27, 2009

Prayer....is it tough for you too?

"I wish I had a better prayer life." I have said it dozens of times, most of the time I have said it to myself, although I have on many occasions owned up to it verbally, and in writing here. Through the last number of years that I have been involved with Women's Bible Study a recurring theme among the women is the same, they want a more meaningful prayer life. Sometimes when we pray we feel like our words hit the ceiling, sometimes we pray and we feel we are talking to ourselves, sometimes we feel like...God already knows this, why do I have to pray about it?

I had a blessed conversation with my son Derek today. He told me when Jack was diagnosed that he hated God, each time Jack's diagnosis would come back bleak, Derek said he would hate God more. He then went on to say that when Jack was healed that God mended his heart and he and God are the chain gang now, and he intertwined his fingers to look like a chain link. This discussion was brought about by a conversation that was going on in his bible class. One of the students asked the teachers why it is that he had been praying for something and it seemed like God wasn't answering his prayer. The teacher said he didn't know and made a joke out of it and said maybe that boy wasn't speaking loud enough. Derek raised his hand and said that God's timing could be that He is not ready to say yes to that prayer yet, like we prayed for Jack for 3 years to be healed and 3 years after we started praying he was. I talked with Derek about how we were blessed that Jack was healed, but that his heart would have mended even if Jack was not because God would have helped him through that time....but that's another story.

Praying seems to be so difficult for some. I took that Spiritual Formation class with Dr. Wray and it really helped me alot. It showed me different types of prayers, meditative, ancient, it reminded me that when we pray often times we only participate in our part, then we close down shop and move on before we give God a chance to speak to our hearts.

For me prayer is a journey, I think it is for all of us. As long as we don't stop the journey and we are seeking God in prayer then things are moving in the right direction. I heard the most wonderful sermon on prayer on the radio yesterday. It was by Jim Cymbala from the Brooklyn Church in New York. The lesson on prayer is amazing, and then he gives his own personal testimony of the power of prayer with his runaway daughter. This is another piece in the puzzle for me on how important prayer is in my life, and in the life of my church. Click the link below to take you to the site to listen or download it for free.

"If you can beat the enemy in prayer you will beat him on every level. "
Jim Cymbala

My House Shall Be a House of Prayer

Life is a journey for me, there is nothing more important than connecting with God as much as I can. Prayer is a major part of that, God give me the desire to be in prayer to you, give me an unquenchable desire to pray.


mad4books said...

Yes, it IS tough for me, too...most of the time.

The weird part--it's amazing how easily prayer flows when I'm in crisis. Yesterday, as I posted LOST posters around South Abilene offering a reward for my lost dog, prayer was on my lips the whole time. My heart was nothing but prayerful.

When joggers chased my car to tell me that they had found her at Red Bud Park (our favorite place to walk) but she wouldn't come to them, my heart was prayerful and tears slipped down my cheeks. As I followed their car, the Holy Spirit was interceding for me because I'd run out of ways to beg "Please, please, please."

When my little escape artist was back in my arms, whimpering and thirsty, I thanked God aloud many times as silent tears turned into full-on bawling like a baby.

(Oh, and I thanked the strangers in the park with my hugs...and a sizable reward.)

Now the hard part will be to continue in prayer on the happy days, the busy days...the ones that make up most of our lives.

Another challenge is to be fervent in prayer, maintaining a spirit of gratitude and thanks, even when everything is going wrong. To remember that Jesus is Lord and He saved me and loves me...even though both of my marriages went down in spectacular flames and this old house is falling down around my ears and the economy is frightful and I'm on a first-name basis with the tow-truck guy who keeps taking my lemon to The Shop.

One of the best books I've read on the subject is Prayer: Does It Make a Difference? by Yancey. (Highly recommended! You'll love it.)

P.S. Goodness. Do I win the award for longest response? (Prayer, and its importance and difficulties and variations, are on my heart and mind every day...)

Michelle said...

Totally off topic, but Sarah gave a link to your Grad. announcements...awesome! Maybe if (when?) I ever finish this PhD, I'll order some from you! Remind me. I'll forget. :)