For many years, I was very frustrated with my prayer & spiritual life. I can’t believe how many years and countless hours, I spent in fervent prayer, asking God to change my life, my circumstances, my husband etc. All of these prayers trying to externally affect and influence what was happening or had happened in my life.
Or how many times did I feel that God played favorites? He blessed those he wanted and snubbed others? Or that some people were born under a “lucky star”?
Better yet…….I had the distinct feeling that all my prayers went no higher than the ceiling? And believe it or not, from this vantage point. I really don’t think they are supposed to. What do I mean by that?
I mean just this………..all effective prayer and spiritual focus begins with me. In your case…..you!! In days gone by I would spend 90% of my time in prayer, focused on changing external events, circumstances, people etc. I would play the “if only” game……stating “if only I had a better education, my life would be different”. If only, I had a better job, more money……..you fill in the blank. I was always one “if only” away from what I wanted. This was a very unproductive and wasteful expenditure of time.
It was when I was in the midst of cancer and EVERYTHING had been removed, I began to ask God to work INSIDE OF ME!! I would ask him to change me, heal me, help me, guide me. I became completely malleable in the hands of God, with no pride or predisposition about what he should do in my life. I gave him my entire existence and being to exercise within. I spend countless hours reconciling with a God that I did not previously know.
In those moments of surrender I found unspeakable peace, pure joy in His presence, acceptance as His beautiful daughter and ultimately healing for my broken spirit. He moved and worked within me daily and showed me who he was and what he intended for me. I saw that He does not play favorites, he is pure LOVE. That love is available to all of us, regardless of how long you have been away, what you have done while you were away or where you are right now. He just wants US, pure and simple. He never moves, sleeps, wanders, gets distracted or grows tired. He is always in the same exact place, if there is any change in proximity to God….it is WE who do the moving.
Today I had the honor and privilege of praying with a beautiful young lady who is going through tough times and has a very difficult home life. We talked for an hour and she shared her heart, her life, her pain and through tears she prayed that God would change some of her family members to stop doing some of the things they do. God Bless her, I cried when I heard this familiar type of prayer. I remember praying similarly for many years. After she prayed, I asked God to strengthen her. I asked Him to impress upon her the pitfalls of addiction and keep her from making similar choices in her life. I prayed that God would walk with her in the valley she was in and protect her innocence and virtue. It was really a wonderful and tender time together. I could feel her emotions and pain as I connected with her and we talked to God together.
My prayer life today is so different from at any other time in my life. First of all…..I look forward to it. It is my daily meeting with God. I send Him emails and messages all day but at least once a day we meet. In this meeting I get very quiet in my spirit and open myself up for Him to examine and see what has crept in during the day…….doubt, fear, disappointment? I bring it all before him and confess that it is there (he already knows it). Then I ask him for his “goggles”. With my God Goggles………doubt and fear can become faith. We remember and recall.what great things he has done in the past, either in my life or another……..faith naturally flows back in when we recollect past victories. The Bible is full of victorious stories if you feel a little dry. Very often when I pray, I cry……not sad tears but “I am so glad to be here tears”. At times when I am praying with someone else, I cry because I can feel their pain or deep wounds. I never had this ability before I had cancer. It is especially true if I am holding their hand or touching them. I have recently read about something called being an “empath”, I am not sure it is to that degree but it is a similar thing for me.
I say all of this to say this, as I have learned to pray in this way (asking God to primarily work in me) my life HAS changed. The things I had prayed for, for years, have come to pass. I do have the life that I always wanted and had eluded me. My life is not perfect but it is far from the tormented existence I had before cancer.
So God………change me and change my life. Start with me 🙂