Today is a very important anniversary in my life.
One year ago today, I began my prayer journey.
If you've recently joined this wild ride with me, here's my original post about it. http://shelikesskirts.blogspot.com/2011/03/about-prayer.html
I know this may sound terrible, but I'm relieved to have this year over. I met my goal; I prayed consistently every single day for an entire year. The pressure is off and now I can relax and let somebody else pray for a change.
Ah....no. Wrong. Very, very wrong.
I had some preconceived ideas about what being a prayer warrior would be like. They were all way off the mark. Like, way.
Prayer continues to be hard work for me. At the beginning, I hoped it would get easier, but it never has. I've decided that's because prayer isn't about me at all. It's about God and about others...and for some reason when something isn't all about me, it's harder. I hope I'm not the only person in the world with this flaw...but there it is.
I can be really selfish.
Prayer is also hard work because it can be very emotional. As hard as I try, I can rarely keep from getting teary while I pray. There always seems to be one request every day that just gets to me.
I've learned to put my eye makeup on each morning after I've finished praying.
I used to think consistent prayer warriors must experience a special connection with God...some ethereal peace that prayer-challenged people like me don't have. Maybe there are those that do, but I don't. I am seldom drawn to my knees in the morning because I can hardly wait to talk to God. I don't often get warm fuzzies from prayer. Prayer for me is a choice, it is an act of my will that I have to make happen. I'm accountable to no one...except God. And as incredulous as it sounds, I can pretty easily tune him out. The best way for me not to is to make sure I'm reading the Bible every day.
That's something else I've done every day for an entire year. I've learned prayer and scripture reading go together like peanut butter and jelly. Like chips and salsa. Like milk and cookies.
You just can't have one without the other. Having both every single day has changed my life.
How? Good question.
First, I think less of myself and more of others. God has grown a new level of compassion in my heart.
I don't know how to explain it. I care more. And I don't have to think about it more, it just happens. And I really, really like it.
Second, I love God more. I've asked him to help me fall more in love with Jesus Christ, and he is answering that prayer. It didn't come over night, he had to root out some wrong thinking in my life first. But it's happening. I want more of Jesus, and I'm not just saying that because Jesus is always the right answer. I really long for deeper knowledge of my Savior.
Lord, give me more of Jesus.
You may want to know if God has answered my prayers. I can honestly say he absolutely has.
He said yes to some. My mother's health has improved tremendously. My son got a great job.
He said no to others. My friend's dear son-in-law died. An important relationship has not been restored.
To many, many other prayers he has said wait. And keep praying.
I used to wonder if it was okay to ask God for the same thing over and over again, but for me, that's what being a prayer warrior is. And the more I pray, even though it's hard, the more I'm convinced that God really can do more than we can ever ask or imagine. That faith didn't come naturally from my sad, sinful little heart. It came as a gift from Almighty God.
The one who invites me into his throne room every day.
The one who rewards me with far more than my simple attempt at devotion will ever deserve.
Come on, join me.