In my attempt to blog as I prayed for the nations of the world alphabetically, I miraculously failed. Four countries. That’s all I could do?
I feel like a horrible person until I speak truth to myself.
The nations need me! No they don’t. The nations need prayer. But my blogging turned into me putting pressure on myself. As if the one person who reads this wouldn’t think to pray for the nations without my instigation. Why do I think these things?
That’s Reason One why the whole thing broke down so quickly: I’m one person. One very relational person. I can’t do things on my own. On the Meyers-Briggs test, I’m a ENFP, and that P means that I’m good at coming up with ideas but horrible with follow-through unless I have someone pushing me. No one pushed. I blame all of you. (Kidding.)
Reason Two was that I realized that my heart isn’t with every nation right now. Since the last time I posted, I’ve been preparing for six-week trip to a nation in Asia. My prayers and thoughts have been with the people there. I got distracted from my global perspective by my own interests.
Reason Three. I am a sinner. I don’t write.
Explanation: I feel truly spiritually convicted when I haven’t written anything in a while, whether it be in my journal, a loving note to somebody, a story about something important or blogging on this site. It took me a while to realize it was spiritual conviction instead of an addict’s urge. The implication is that I am convinced that writing is something that God wants me to keep doing, not just a hobby.
Reason Four. I am a sinner. I don’t pray.
And here is the message of this post.
Praying is so hard.
Ignore all the people who tell you that prayer is as simple as talking to God. That’s what prayer is, but that’s not how you experience prayer.
Prayer needs to be a conversation with God. Or else it’s just talking at Him, telling Him what you want and why He should give it to you. Meanwhile He’s up there waiting for us to stop asking Him for things so we can actually think about Him.
When was the last time I thought about God while I prayed? About entering into His throne room with boldness, what I would do in His presence, what sort of words my stuttering mouth would be able to make… I tried thinking about that while I prayed last week, and it almost worked until words got in the way. I thought about what I thought I needed. I thought about what had prompted me to pray – worry about how I would get around without a car next year – and the moment was over.
The best praying I’ve had in the past week wasn’t initiated by me. I was sort of staring into space when God gave me a thought that I knew was from Him. I smiled. That was prayer. In that conversation, God was speaking and I was responding.
I hardly ever initiate prayer.
It’s my bedtime. So I’m going to think about prayer some more, and spew more of my thoughts in more fragmented sentences later. Stay tuned!