Monday, March 30, 2015

Not A Pray- er

                I am not a prayer warrior. In fact, praying is not something I would consider myself good at. (If such a one could be considered good at praying) When I first became a Christian I would listen to the men and women around me pray and then I would try to imitate them when I got home. I would go before the Lord and I would use similar words, and similar phrases, thinking that was the way I was to pray. I read books on how to pray, and tried to follow the formulas that were given to me in them. But it never seemed to work for me, and no matter how hard I tried, getting down on my knees, raising my hands and speaking my heart to the Lord never seemed to fit me. But what did fit me was writing. Since the first day I became a Christian I have been journaling my prayer life, and it was not until a few years into being a Christian that I realized there is nothing wrong with that.
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                I think many of us think that we have to be these powerful, passionate prayer warriors. But I have learned that being anything other than who I am in Christ is like trying to put on someone else’s jeans, they just don’t fit the same. I am not a prayer warrior, however if you ask me to pray for you I will. It may not be with powerful words and passionate repetition, it may just be a simple, “Lord help them”. But isn’t that all we need to say?
             Last week, a few other women and I wrote some devotionals and prayers for women. In each day we listed some prayer points and also wrote some simple devotions. During one of these days someone mentioned in one of the comments that they were not good at praying. I agreed that I was not as good at it as I would like to be either and since then; I have been going back and forth about this subject of prayer and have finally come to this conclusion. Prayer is personal. What fits you will not necessarily fit me. Who I am in Christ is not who you are. We each have our own experiences, trials, sufferings and praises to bring to the Lord. Prayer is a conversation between you and your Father God. He is like the adoring Father who patiently waits for His child to come home from school to tell Him about their day. He is patiently waiting for us to talk to Him, to come to Him, and tell Him about our day.
                “For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16 (ESV)
                These verses are two of my most favorite verses in regards to our prayer life. As I sit here and write this today, I am reminded that I did not exactly get down on my knees this morning and give God the thanks, praise and glory that are due Him. All I did this morning in regards to prayer was to repeat a few verses out of Psalms that I was listening to as I worked out on my treadmill. I did not get on my knees, but God heard and knew my heart’s cry this morning as the Psalmist words became mine. We have Jesus who is seated at the right hand of God, who has been where we have been. Prayer is not about the position of our body, but it is about the position of our heart. I don’t have to be on my knees before the Lord every single morning with a formula for proper prayers before the Lord will hear me. The Lord God is with me every single moment of my day. He already knows what is in the depths of my heart; I may as well talk to Him about it.
                I also think that we forget that we can run to Him about anything and everything. We do not have to be face down in the carpet to make sure the Lord hears our prayers. All we have to do is speak them, write them, or think them. In fact, we don’t even have to do that, because according to Paul the Holy Spirit is praying for us, even when we don’t know what to pray for. (Romans 8:26) We do not have to be prayer warriors, speaking and proclaiming powerful words, we just have to have a heart that runs to our God, Who has made a way for us to come into His throne room of grace, where we can climb up on His lap and tell Him about our day. If you are like me and more of a writer than a speaker, then get a journal and just start writing down your thoughts, your desires, your dreams, etc. Prayer does not have to be perfect, because prayer is from the individual, and none of us are perfect.
                One of the things that I have also learned about prayer is that it comes more naturally the more I am in His Word. When I was a new Christian just starting out, I found myself praying the scriptures quite a bit. I did not always know what to say, but His Word seemed to know what was needed most and He always led me to the right verse, Psalm or book and from there I would pray. I would make His Word personal. It would become a conversation that He and I would have with one another.  If you are struggling in your prayer life, take a look at the time you spend in His Word. “For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
(Hebrews 4:12 ESV) His Word will reveal our hearts and our needs, and as His Word dives into our souls then we will know how to pray and what to pray for.
                I don’t claim to be a prayer warrior, but I do pray. I do not get on my knees, lift my hands and follow a formula for prayer. I open up my journal, I sit before the Lord God and His throne and I talk to Him through my heart that is connected to my hands.  He answers through His heart which is His Word. He knows what we need, He knows our pains, our struggles, our sufferings, He knows it all, but He can’t help us until we come to Him. He is sitting on His throne, with a special place on His lap, just for you. Won’t you come?
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