My heart has been so heavy lately as I have seen my brothers and sisters in Christ struggling so incredibly under the weight of this world. Y’all, Satan is real, and he is attacking God’s people at every turn, and it’s hard and it hurts and it just plain stinks at times.
As I’ve been watching my dear friends tread dark water and as we’ve been battling some shadowy places of our own in our home, my soul has grown heavier and heavier and heavier. I don’t like the dark. I don’t like the unknown. I don’t like pain and sadness and despair. And I sure don’t like feeling helpless in the midst of it all- I want to fix things. I want to do something, to make everything okay, to somehow rectify all of this brokenness I see.
But I can’t. So, I’ve resorted to the only thing I know to do- hit my knees in prayer. Isn’t it ironic that the lady who is always praising the power of prayer actually uses prayer as a last resort? That I exhaust all of my efforts to do and fix and then I pray? What a wake-up call to my own sinful nature…
But still, what peace there is in prayer. I’ll admit, I struggle with many aspects of my prayer life. It’s hard to find time with a house full of little people to sit down alone and talk to God for an extended period of time. And then when I do pray, my mind wanders and I lose my train of thought and I find myself without words and then I feel like I’m failing somehow.
That being said, in this season of struggle, here are some things that have helped grow my prayer life a bit- well, things aside from the overwhelming need for conversating with the God of the universe.
First, I’ve been involving my children. Instead of feeling like I need to go hide away to pray, I let them see me pray. And when they walk in and ask what in the world I’m doing, I tell them- and even ask them to join me. When we’re struggling in our home, I pray for them out loud so that they hear me. In this season of life, they are with me all the time- so why not make them a part of my prayer life and maybe encourage those habits in their own lives?
When a prayer need arises, I’ve also learned to stop and pray right then. I used to be guilty of telling people I would pray, but then forgetting to actually pray. So now I do it on the spot- and then again later as I remember. I’ve also discovered the beauty of cell phone alarms to remind to pray at specific times for specific needs that have been shared. (Sometimes technology can be used for good!)
Now, as far as my mind wandering? I am a words person- but written words, not spoken. So I have found a prayer journal to be a huge asset to my prayer life. Now, I’m not one of these uber organized people with lists and schedules and all that in my prayer journal- but when I sit down to talk to God and pour out my heart, I can write out my words and it keeps my mind and heart focused on Him. And when I can’t find words? He has provided them in Scripture. Sometimes praying God’s word instead of my own is the best prayer.
This world is crazy. There’s a lot of darkness. There’s a lot of hurt. Sin is real. The devil is real. But so is GOD, and we battle best when we’re on our knees, surrendering to His will and way, recognizing His power and sovereignty, and letting Him fight for us.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. -Exodus 14:14
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. -Jeremiah 29:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. -Romans 12:12
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6-7