Who love Facebook’s “On this Day…”? It gives me great insight of my growth throughout the years. Four and Five years ago I was posting things that were mostly negative or snarky, but thankfully that phase has passed. Well, today Facebook reminded me I was beginning my journey to healing this time last year. On this day, in 2016, I wrote, “Prayer: What you do when you don’t know what to do.”
Prayer has been my answer to every internal dilemma I’ve faced. The hard part about prayer is my inclination to ask God for the things I want, sort of in the way Aladdin wished to be a prince. I have a hard time remembering God doesn’t work like a genie would and that struggle remains even through this last year. I assume prayer looks different to everyone and the life of prayer is individualized as well. I come to you today, to discuss my prayers, and not to persuade anyone their relationship with God is wrong, or mine might be better. I write this blog post to encourage a prayer life in each reader, and I do so without judgement.
When I pray, I talk with God as if He is my friend. My prayer, if said aloud, sounds quite like a conversation. I’ve always done this, even while in grade school, and it always felt like I wasn’t doing it quite right. It felt as though I wasn’t honoring Him in the correct way. I never stopped, and I am so thankful, because most recently I was made aware of why. Why do I sit and chat with God while driving around town? Or while nursing my child? Why do I carry on such an informal conversation with the Lord? Why? Because my God is my most trustworthy ally. I rely heavily on Him like I would rely on a good friend. This is the nature of my relationship with our Heavenly Father.
At this point in time, my prayer life seems as if it is always running errands with me. I pray somewhat laxidasically throughout the day. I hate that word because it implies I’m being lazy, but it really is appropriate. I’m certain the Lord sees I’m busy with chores, calming kids down, planning out the minutes ahead, and I think He loves to hear from me all day long. I think, and I hope. I imagine God feels honor in my feeling His presence even through the little things: washing dishes, changing diapers, going to the grocery store, etc. That is a daily necessity for me, but it really is the easy form of praying.
The hard form of prayer, is a more focused method. Last year, at this time, I finally realized I needed to worship God too. This is when I really began to see a change in myself. I acted more positive and much happier when I took the time to find a quiet space to direct full attention to worshipping through prayer. The Divine Mercy Chaplet is my favorite form of worship, especially when it is sung and I also pray the rosary for the subjects which lie heavy on my heart. Most importantly, I praise His name by talking with Him once again, except this time I choose to speak to God like a King should be treated.
So how does this encourage anyone to pray? Maybe what I’ve written above doesn’t motivate you to bring more prayer into your life, but maybe this will. One day, after getting three kids three and under something to eat, cleaned up, and in their beds for a nap, I sat down to feed the littlest baby (our number four) and my Mother in Law said to me, “You seem to be a peace while taking care of these kids.” That was the exact word I had been searching for to explain my new-found happiness. She wasn’t telling me I was well organized, she didn’t say I was doing a good job, what she saw in me that day was the calmness of the Lord’s grace showered over me. Things were chaotic that afternoon, even with my Mother in Law’s help, but I had so much trust in God, I had no need to fret or become anxious over the spills, the tantrums, and other toddlerville events I couldn’t control. That is one of the most precious blessings I’ve received through prayer…peace. Peace is knowing God’s graces and allowing Him to lead me through the unknown. I also know there is an abundance of gifts waiting for me, and I can’t wait!
What does prayer look like to you? And What have you received through prayer? I’d love hear from anyone willing to share.