I could probably make a list of things I mean to do that I don’t. That list would probably include laundry, maybe a bike ride or two, more time at the piano. I could probably call people back a little faster, reply to emails a little sooner.
But looking at the last few months, I would have to add Prayer to that list. I could give you thousands of reasons why prayer is essential to a full life, recommend a good book to read about the importance of prayer, and share a story in the past year or so of a life-giving prayer moment. But when it comes to actually praying…well…not so much.
Normally I might feel pretty guilty about this – and my horrid lack of Bible reading – but I think I needed the space. One of the questions that has been changing my life is why do I do what I do? and I honestly didn’t know why I prayed. And I certainly wasn’t going to do it out of guilt.
So, for a while, God gave me some space to figure out some things on my own. He took a step back to let me see my mess, and I wouldn’t have wished for Him to do any different. It was messy, it was brutal, but so necessary. I needed to find out what courage is. I needed to understand that I’m a child of God, but I’m still my own person – I have to take responsibility for what I do instead of making God my excuse. God isn’t responsible for my choices, I am. He guides and shoves pushes, but ultimately the choice is up to me.
But I’m coming back, step by step, reaching out to take His hand. And I’m trying to pray again, little by little, out loud in the car or writing in my journal. At first it was a little awkward, like talking to a friend you stopped hanging out with for a while, but every day it’s getting a little easier. And He’s there listening, probably rolling His eyes sometimes, but loving me all the same.
In the words of Shauna Niequist, “Something has to get you back to prayer, and in my experience the surest thing is desperation.” She’s absolutely right. I am desperate. I’m embarking on a brand new adventure in my life, and the last thing I want to do is mess it up.
So my own life is dragging me back, little by little, to the words may Your will be done and on earth as it is in heaven. And over and over, I’m covering this journey in prayer, soaking it in my words that have never been more heartfelt and earnest. At lunch with a friend last week, her advice to me was pray about everything. So that’s what I’m trying: inviting God into every bit and piece and crumb of this story, mine and his and ours together.
God, take us over. Fill us up with You, Your beauty and grace and goodness. Teach us and shape us and show us, and help us to be quick to respond. And thank You, thank You so much for what You’re doing. The beauty brings tears to my eyes, that I get to be here. Thank You for filling up my life with blessings, so much more than what I deserve. You’re so good.