Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Heart of Prayer

I am currently fighting through a bout of the norwalk virus, so I have been in bed all day (minus the time I spent making home made chicken soup) tossing and turning, and occasionally sleeping. I haven't thrown up or anything, which I am so thankful for! My dad has it much worse than I do - so please keep him in your prayers! It shouldn't last for more than 3 days, but it is not pleasant! I have an exam in two days, so I am praying that I will feel better in time to not only write it, but also get in some studying. Getting sick around exam time is never good!

Although I am feeling kind of crappy, and a bit stir-crazy, I have also been spending more time in prayer and scripture than usual. I always find that when I am sick and can't really be distracted by life, I end up spending more time with God. I guess that is the bright side of becoming sick, if there ever was one!

So I was just laying in bed - feeling groggy but not enough to fall asleep, and my prayer 'wall' compelled me to pray. That has been the biggest benefit (and indeed the purpose of) my prayer 'wall" - it urges me to pray and reminds me of who and what I should be praying for. I prayed for a while, laying out before God all of the things that are troubling me, all of the people that I care for and are weighing on my heart,  and any sins that I felt convicted of. It brought me a lot of peace, but also  made me realize that there is soo much I have to pray for!

It is kind of ridiculous how many things and lives I feel compelled to pray for, but at the same time I know that I do not pray for them nearly enough! I normally just pray a quick prayer before going to bed - and often fall asleep while doing so! I know how powerful prayer is, and how praying draws me even closer to the presence of God, and I know that spending time in prayer is vital to my relationship with God - but yet, I do not make it a true priority in my day-to-day life. It is often something I just tack on to my day after accomplishing (or procrastinating from!) my daily routine.

For the amount of sin and darkness and pain that I encounter in my family and group of friends, and in my own life,  and in my city,  I really do not pray enough. I can't remember who said this, but it is so true "I am too busy not to pray!" Everything in my life needs to be surrendered to God in prayer and thanksgiving, but sometimes I wonder what exactly it means to pray.

I mean, prayer is kind of mysterious and weird. It is not just about asking for things, or being thankful, although that is obviously a huge part of it. But it also involves listening to God and being pulled into whatever God is already doing, and then acting on it. It is stepping into God's presence and aligning your heart and will with God's plans, and letting God speak to you and move you into action and purpose, whatever that may look like. It is also trusting in God's power and believing that He can and will do more than we could ever imagine. And sometimes it means talking, while at other times it means being silent. At least, this is how I understand prayer. But do I really understand prayer? How do we 'hear' from God? Are we listening? How do you understand prayer?

All I really know is that prayer is vitally important, and that I can pour out my heart to God and He will listen, but that I too need to "be still" and know that He is God.  I want to start setting aside time in the morning to pray - and really just start my day by soaking in God's presence. I think that will really revitalize my relationship with God, as well as my relationships with others.

 I want to live a life that is marinated in prayer.

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