My attempts at prayer feel awkward at best. At worst, I feel like a big fat prayer failure. My mind doesn’t automatically shift to prayer as a natural response.
In my mind, prayer should be as natural as breath. Something we don’t think about, just do. In reality, my prayer life more closely resembles the deep breaths I take while my doctor has her stethoscope on my back.
This week’s Friday Five writing topic has caused some introspection on my part. As I struggled to list 5 answered prayers, I once again felt the inadequacy of my communication with God.
I’ve been witness to several major answered prayers in my life – healing for my sister, provision my parents, and protection for my darling love.
Each story ended similarly – my loved one came through the other side having experienced a miracle of sorts. Another common thread weaves through each of them – I remained on the sidelines.
What about prayers for my own life? I’m hard pressed to think of specific requests on those. Perhaps it’s not my prayer life that’s the failure, but rather my view of what prayer is.
If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.
― Meister Eckhart
Blame my anxiety or my stressful first-world-life, but gratitude can be difficult for me. When I write in my thankful journal or share blogs on the topic, it is my attempt to correct my focus. I may not pray the hours or even say grace before meals on a regular basis, but capturing a moment of gratitude is a prayer of its own.
Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.
― Corrie ten Boom
I’ve jokingly said my spiritual gift is worry. What if I took those worries and turned them to prayers? Claiming Romans 8:26, I need to begin to name my worries and ask the Holy Spirit to translate them into prayers for me.
We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.
― Oswald Chambers
Earlier in the week, I read about a prayer technique simply called “breath prayers.” The idea of pairing prayers with deep breathing intrigues me, given deep breathing and prayer are both great for anxiety. These prayers contain just a handful of words, but I am excited incorporating them.
An hour of prayer daily seems intimidating. Short sentences throughout the day seem manageable. As I attempt to wean myself off of my anxiety medication (doctor’s recommendation – don’t try this at home kids!), I hope to steady myself with prayers such as “Prince of Peace, calm my spirit.”
Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.
― Mother Teresa
Reviewing past blog posts, I’ve written about the times Abba has said Yes, No, and Wait. Through the exercise of writing this blog, He has opened my eyes to the non-traditional ways I pray through my day.
Like a child, I perpetually need reassurance of our connection, our relationship. Perhaps working through these thoughts is an answered prayer all of its own?