Prayerlessness. This obstacle finds so many of us. Why do you think we do not pray? Do not pray often? Do not pray sincerely? I can only speak from my own experiences. I didn’t know how. I felt inadequate. I didn’t think I was good enough to offer up a feeble prayer to the Lord, the creator of the universe!
I tried. Believe me, I tried! I didn’t try often enough, it was mostly when life was hard I would find myself crying out to God for help. Occasionally I would offer up a prayer of gratitude. But in those deep, dark places of my soul, when I felt so alone and I had no one else to talk to, no one that would understand, that is when I really prayed. I prayed through tears, through anguish, through frustration, through helplessness and hopelessness. This went on for years.
And then…. something clicked in my soul. I realized that God just wants me to talk to Him. He wants a relationship with me. He isn’t looking for eloquent or scripted, educated or rehearsed prayer. He is looking for my heart, open and honest and every day. I began this prayer journey with a new frame of mind. I began praying all the time! In the car, as I made lunches, at the grocery store, cleaning, doing laundry, etc. Whatever it was that I was doing, if I was by myself, I prayed. I just talked to God. I told him what I was thankful for that day. I shared my anxieties and fears and gave them over to Him. I prayed for my family and shared their worries with Him as well. It didn’t matter what the words were or how they came out, I was talking to God.
Well, a curious thing began to happen to me. I became peaceful, from the inside. I am more patient. I have less fear and less anxiety. My faith is stronger and still growing. The moment I realized that these changes were taking place was on May 18, the anniversary of my son’s death. For the first time in 9 years, I was ok. I wasn’t crying. I didn’t have an anxiety attack. I felt a peace inside me that I cannot explain. I was actually confused! I had become so used to wallowing in misery on this day and even the days leading up to it, that I did not know what to do with myself! Another huge realization occurred just a few days ago, on Thanksgiving night. I began to pull out all the Christmas decorations and boxes and I started to decorate at 8 pm on Thanksgiving! My 13 year old daughter said to me, “I don’t remember you ever wanting to decorate for Christmas, and especially not this early. We usually have to pull teeth to get you to take the decorations out.” She is exactly correct. I was deep in grief and I was not deep in prayer, allowing the Holy Spirit to give me peace.
I can’t explain it, but I couldn’t wait to decorate for Christmas! It is our Savior’s birth! What a glorious and exciting time! Again, I am experiencing a peace that I cannot explain. I am not dreading the birthday of my son, who is with Jesus. I am relishing in the birthday of Jesus.
God tells us in the Bible that we will have trouble in this world. He tells us that Satan is a real force of evil and He will do whatever He can to stop the flow of peace and love between God and us. Prayer is the strongest weapon we have against Satan. Use it and use it daily. You will begin to feel a peace that can only come from the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 6:18 says, “Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere.”
My prayer for all of you is that you find your peace through prayer. May God be with you on this journey and may He bless you daily as you pray.