What to pray when you don’t know what to pray. Do you have those times when you’re lost for words? Maybe life has just piled up too deep, the demands are too plenteous & the stresses seem infinite. Sometimes when we go through grief, words can seem mechanical or elusive.
When you don’t know what or how to pray, here’s a good suggestion:
My daughter has her driver’s permit, so we are starting the “learning to drive” adventure. The first time I rode with her, I knew that my real-time prayer life would be dramatically increasing. Of course I’m praying immediately for her skills to improve but I’m also praying for peace in my heart and for the people driving on the road with us 🙂
Recently, I began to think about this adventure in a different way. Rather than being frazzled by this season, I’m choosing to see that she’s a chauffeur in training. Ok, maybe not my chauffeur, but if I appreciate that Jesus never leaves her, then she can be His chauffeur & that perspective helps me a lot!
Taking that a little further, Jesus is always with us as well, no matter what’s happening or not! If we are Jesus’ chauffeur, this means that He gets to tell us where we’re going & we would be wise to solicit His input on how to get to His destinations!
Have an awesome weekend!
Whenever I travel, I get a glimpse at different “normals”. My normal living over the course of a week includes, usually some eggs for breakfast, driving the kids to various events, reading, writing, studying, some travel, coffee of course & ministry events. All of this happens on a backdrop that I take for granted: a functional car, clean bed, warm house, safe water, a friendly neighborhood, good schools for my kids & a loving husband.
I’m returning from a country, having visited some red light districts where the “normal” living for the babies & toddlers is something altogether different. Truthfully, I’m really struggling to process this disparity during my journey home. These kinds of experiences often change me at very deep levels, reshuffling not only my perspective but likely some of my priorities as well.
Sometimes we need to have our “normal” upended to keep our hearts aligned with God’s priorities.
I’m learning that prayer is a bit of a learning adventure. Some things that I used to think about prayer (viable components, to be sure)
prayer is about asking God for stuff
prayer was about dumping all my problems on God
prayer is about making me feel better
There have been times that I’ve been disappointed with prayer because I didn’t feel anything, I didn’t get an answer, or I didn’t hear something – I even felt like my prayer time was “flat”. But here are some cool things that I’m learning:
prayer can simply be the space & time of our presence that we give to God – keeping company with God
sometimes the closest relationships require the smallest communications
prayer can be the simple act of “letting my hair down” – being vulnerable & available to God
as I grow in prayer, I’m learning that prayer opens the door for me to cooperate with God more fully & wholly with fewer boundaries & “compartments” (giving God more access & fewer limits in my life)
Have you ever struggled to pray because of various distractions? This morning happened to be one of those times for me & that can be really frustrating because if you’re like me, you really want to pray! So perhaps I can give you a few ideas that could be helpful:
tell God that you’re having a hard time praying because of the various distractions. I say something like this, “God, I really want to pray right now, but I’m having a hard time because I find myself to be distracted with all kinds of things, some things important & some things not so much.”
sometimes I will write down what those distractions are – maybe making a to-do list, or briefly writing out the various things about which I’m concerned
take a pause and listen / wait – often after I do the first 2 things above, it gets easier for me to pray, listen and to be more present with God than the various distractions
don’t get way frustrated with yourself – commit to have some prayer time in your life everyday so that on those few days that seem to filled with distractions, you can be certain that there will also be some totally amazing times with God that will be nothing short of glorious – all realtionships can have some ups & downs
sometimes it helps me to review a verse or passage from the Bible that has seemed to really capture my attention & thoughts – in these times, I give myself to exploring this verse or passage with God & I find these times to be particularly rich with God’s presence
Sometimes I think that God doesn’t answer some of our prayers because are prayers are misdirected. I think that sometimes we settle for “good” when God has something more “magnificent” for us than what we are requesting. Unfortunately, I tend to be selfish & short sighted when I don’t get my way, like an immature child who doesn’t trust their parent to make choices for them in their best interest. So rather than packing up our toys & going home to play by ourselves, lets keep living with & loving God, trusting that God is fundamentally good & is Genuine Love 🙂