Prayer is so simple, yet we complicate it.
We bow in corporate worship. We bow at breakfast, lunch and dinner. We bow to say a bedtime prayer.
Do we bow when we are alone? Do we pray when no one sees? Do we recognize God’s voice when He speaks into the awkward silence?
Sometimes I hold back the parts of life that seem too difficult to talk about. It’s too messy. It’s too emotionally exhausting. The silence is uncomfortable. If I bring everything to God and lay it down, it’s terrifying. And in that moment, it’s so complicated that I cannot even form the words to say. So I wait. I cry. I try to form my thoughts, but I am overwhelmed.
To allow my will to be completely transformed to the will of another does not go along with my natural desires. I hold on.
I like to be in control. I like to be able to hold in my tears and press down my feelings. I like to stand up straight and walk with my head held high with the appearance of confidence. In my pride I fight. It’s my own strength against the Spirit of the Living God. What a useless waste of energy. Oh, how foolish I can be.
Maybe you are more compliant than I am. To give up your will doesn’t seem so difficult. You know what’s right so you do it.
Or maybe you are slightly stubborn like me. Maybe you fight too.
You know what it’s like to feel the Holy Spirit speak and to press it down until eventually it goes away. You know what it’s like to hurry into your day passing up on prayer. You feel bad for a second, but then your attention is caught by the next ding on your smart phone or task on your “To-Do” list. You aimlessly scroll looking for something that will catch your attention, or you hurry on to the next thing.
I have scrolled and hurried and fought far too many times.
I struggle. You struggle. We all struggle. Do not be deceived by super Christians or Mrs. Perfects. They do not exist. We are all in a real battle and it’s exhausting. We must allow the Holy Spirit to transform our minds and our hearts or we will never stop fighting.
I don’t like fighting. I am not an arguer by trade and I have always steered clear of debates. I would rather stay silent and let the conflict pass.
Yet, when it comes to giving up control of my life, I do fight. I don’t even have to speak. It is an internal battle. I arrive armed with my own reasoning, with guns blazing. How foolish I can be.
God’s word says to cast all our cares at His feet. Sometimes I cling to my cares. I hold them close like a trophy or badge on my sleeve. Something about them brings a twisted feeling of comfort. In my cares I find identity, as if the events of my life define me. I need to let go of the events and cling to the creator.
When God is my focus, I can truly bow at his feet, knees pressed to the cold floor and pray. That’s when I can find identity even when my life seems like messy, dysfunctional progress. God sees Jesus in me.
Every day I have to give up my own will, my own way, my own plans and my own pride and allow God to control my life. It’s not easy, but when I let Him fight my battles and guide my steps I do not feel the exhaustion of the fight. I feel rested, restored and renewed. That’s what prayer does. It brings rest in His presence, restoration in His promises, and a renewal of my heart.
You do not have to continue fighting. Go into God’s presence and find rest.
Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence: and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me by thy free spirit. Psalm 51:10-12
If we would stop complicating prayer, by avoiding it or cutting it short, we could experience rest in God’s presence. Prayer is truly more powerful than any problem you and I will ever face.
As I enter God’s presence unashamed, covered by the blood of Jesus, I am speechless. The baggage that was pressing heavy on my back, He takes. I look around in awe. How could He love me? Why would He take my burdens? Without a word He comforts me. He forgives me. He loves me. I don’t want to leave. His presence is overwhelming.
Have you been there?
As you enter His presence this week here is 31 Days of Prayer – Week 4
If you missed the other weeks you can get them by clicking the links below:
Remember, DO NOT check off the calendar as you pray, just take it one prayer at a time. Prayer is much more than another thing to check off of your “To-Do” list.
If this has been an encouragement to you please LIKE, SHARE and COMMENT so others can be encouraged too!
Love & Blessings,