Thursday, March 17, 2016

Praying Myself Silly

So I said I was taking a break from blogging, but then I put fingers to keys and needed to get this all out there. 
Thank you in advance for your love, patience, and prayers.


Some of you may know this, but we've had a health scare with my little brother. I say "we've had" but we're in the middle of it right now. I won't go into too many details, but I can tell you some very intimidating, big medical words have been used too many times in the same sentence as the name of a thirteen-year-old boy, and it makes me positively sick at the stomach.

I don't fully understand the issues at hand, and the doctors will meet tomorrow to see what can be done moving forward, but what I do know is that this is putting prayer in crazy perspective.

In a punch to the gut can't breathe anymore, dangle me out over the edge of the crashing waves, pushed up against the mirror so close my face is stuck kind of way.

Why?
Because I pray for silly things.

Now I believe that Jesus cares about these things, and is fully capable of providing these things, but in all honesty I pray about silly things. 

I ask for a nice parking spot at the mall.
I ask for grace from a professor on a late paper.
I ask for the slow barista at the counter to hurry himself up.
I ask for the rain to chill out on my drive home from school.

In the past month I've been asking for silly things, too.
I've asked for an apartment with pretty natural light and a fireplace.
I've asked for a farmhouse in my future with bright, white porch swings.
I've asked for my dream wedding venue to be open on just the right date.
(Should I mention I'm totally single and this could be ten years from now or never? Sheesh.)

I've also asked for more serious things before, and many times over.
I've asked to get into grad school.
I've asked for an acceptance to my dream teaching gig.
I've asked for safe landing on a turbulence filled flight.
I've asked for the health and long-life of aging grandparents.
I've asked for funding to come in for missionaries long-awaiting a trip home.

As valid as many of those prayers are, in this moment I want to throw all the silly prayers out the window to ask for the healing of my brother.

THAT feels like something worthy of my time and prayers.
THAT is something that will take an act of God to procure.
THAT is something I want Him put energy and power toward.
Asking him to open up a parking spot in front of Macy's feels rather foolish now.

Reading back through this list, I feel like someone who has a lamp with three wishes and used them up on trifling things. RED FLAG HERE. Who has been viewing God like a magic genie for far too long? This girl.

He does not operate like that.

He is not looking at me and sighing, saying, "Well, since you've been asking for that job, there just isn't room for this other thing. Sorry." He does not rank my prayers by what is petty or what is worthy. Some items on this list feel more worthy of my time and energy and prayer, and some of the things have only been whispered as a passing thought. Such is life.

But our God is not such a God. He is not limited.

He is not limited by my small thinking.
He is not limited by my endless list of prayer requests.
He is not limited by the doctors' diagnosis.

All of this has got me thinking about not only what I've been asking for but what I know about prayer. What I believe about prayer. What I believe about God.

Oh look, there's that word. That pesky little word I picked for the year.
Believe.
Don't you know you were just supposed to be pretty not be a problem?
Sheesh.

One of my daily declarations (that I may or may not have forgotten about for a few weeks...) is:
MY PRAYERS ARE POWERFUL AND EFFECTIVE.

How can I declare that? Because scripture declares it so.

"The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth."
Psalm 145:18

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." 
Mark 11:24

"Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." 
James 5:16

"And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us."
 1 John 5:14
"And Jesus answered them, 'Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.' "
Matthew 21:21-22

"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known."
Jeremiah 33:3

You know what I asked yesterday?
What I'm asking today?
What I haven't asked in a long time?
What I should be asking with my first breath every morning?
Jesus, make me more like you.

I need to ask it every day, because by the end of the day my humanness has caused all kinds of problems and turned my mind back to silly things. But by being more like Jesus, I can prayer big, powerful prayers, fully confident in who I am in the Lord and who God is.

If I am made more like Jesus, then I can confidently, wholeheartedly ask "Lord, if you be willing, take this away. Never the less not my will but yours be done". (Luke 22:42).

I can still ask for small things. I can still ask for the Lord to take away the pain. But I can stand secure knowing that even if he doesn't, and if His will doesn't look like my will, then He is still good.

He can heal my brother.
He can take the pain away.
He can perform a miracle.
He can move on this side of Heaven.

If not, He is still good.
If not, He is still good.
If not, He is still good.
If not, He is still good.

I want to be a woman who carries others in prayer. I don't want to text sweetly "you'll be in my prayers" and forget about it tomorrow. I want to BELIEVE in the power of prayer and BELIEVE in the power of God so much so that I am continually in prayer, tuning my heart to His and pressing in to the things that matter.

I am absolutely still learning what this looks like, and I'm not going to be perfect at it, but I want to pray more than silly prayers. I want to pray myself silly. 

He is the good, good Father worthy of my heart and words.
He is the good, good Father no matter how or when or where He chooses to answer those prayers.

So I'll keep praying. And I ask that you join me. Please?

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