I have always been rather impatient, although I do feel that I am improving in that area. I suppose it is only natural that my prayer life is no exception. There are times when I feel like I have really been praying about something and I am trying to wait patiently for a response from God but it seems like nothing is coming through. When I stop and think, I often realize that I haven’t been praying at all. I have been thinking about, worrying about, at times obsessing about the issues at hand, but it is all internal. I am trying to clearly define the problems and the possible solutions and the best course of action to take, oftentimes without involving God or giving Him a chance to respond. When I realize this, it’s easy to pretend it doesn’t matter, that God is too busy with the bigger problems in the world to be concerned with all of my questions. But according to Philippians 4:6-7, “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.” That sure makes it sound like God wants to be a part of it all. And for those of you like me that grasp the overall meaning of “supplication” but aren’t totally sure what it means, supplications is “the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly”. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 speaks to this as well. “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” Can it be as simple as just talking to God instead of just talking to myself?
I am always looking for the right way or the best way to do something. If I’m just talking how do I track what I’ve asked about and what has been answered? How do I make sure to follow up? I have prayer journals in addition to my regular journals. And just like the many fitness DVDs I have bought have failed to make me strong and lean, the act of purchasing the journals and letting them sit on my shelf has not made me stick with regular organized prayer. I’m trying to go with the flow a bit more instead of needing a perfectly laid out plan. In some areas I have never been much of a planner; just ask anyone that has taken a trip with me. But in other circumstances I become paralyzed by options and questions and struggle to even take the first step because I don’t know what will happen. That’s why this whole blog is a huge step for me! I have NO IDEA what I am doing. Parts of it are much more complicated than I thought they would be. Okay, it probably isn’t that complicated, but I don’t know how to do it intuitively. And I’m doing this publicly, which means I can fail and embarrass myself, two things that I have fought to avoid for my whole life. But even if no one reads this or people do but it doesn’t resonate with them, that’s okay because it is helping me to sort out my thoughts and feelings. So it doesn’t have to be perfect. And neither do my prayers. Who knows the depth of my imperfection better than God? Why spend time and energy trying to make Him think more highly of me (I don’t think it works that way – I think He just loves me no matter what, right?) when I could be spending that time talking with him or with the people who I have been blessed to have in my life?