Do you pray?!
This season has been very trying for my prayer life. Of course everyone goes through ups and downs in their spiritual walk, but this past year truly has been the worst for me as far as prayer is concerned. There came a point where I had been praying for healing for the family member of a dear friend, a child, and I just felt like God wasn't listening. The child passed away... and his family was at peace, but I was SO angry, but onto the next person I went. I prayed, they lost their battle, my anger built. I stopped praying. Naturally, my thought process was like anyone's would have been, "When I pray God doesn't care and people die." Normally, I would have felt that thought as very dramatic, which I loathe, but this same battle had been happening in my prayer life for months and I was hurting. From then on, if someone needed prayer I would lean on others whom I knew would pray. I just used myself as a middle-man for the person in need to the people I knew would pray for them. The more I did so, the more Satan stepped in. Thankfully, I have a few women that I speak with daily/weekly that heard my venting, my frustration, my anger, and they let me chose that emotion for a season. Gradually, they encouraged me in the right direction while showing so much mercy and compassion, even sometimes unknowingly to them.
I remember even one night just lying in my bed after a very hard day and just weeping. It was a time I would have typically chosen to cry out to God in prayer, but I just couldn't. So, I did the next thing I knew to do to find comfort and still feel like God could hear me. Funny enough, now as I am writing this, it was almost like that situation when you were younger when you were mad at a friend so you spoke to another friend and had that friend speak to the other friend because "I'm not speaking to her!" HAHA
Anyway, I spoke to my earthly father who is in Heaven instead of speaking directly to Jesus. I remember feeling some peace in that. I felt like it was a stepping stone in the right direction.
Then silence for a while.
Lent approached so rapidly this year and I couldn't bring myself to make a commitment, to participate, because I felt fake. Although my faith in Jesus's existence, in His story, has never waivered, my prayer life was still very much a work in progress.
That brings me to a moment a few days ago when I was setting up my yoga space in the "new" house (we have been here since July but this space is just being finished) and I ran across my prayer binder. I suddenly felt a sense of calm. I remembered back to a time nearly six years ago when my world was literally starting to fall apart around me and my prayer room, my "War Room," is where I spent as much time as I could. When we moved, my prayer closet was packed into a binder. Due to moving so many times since then, it has all just stayed there, and I have to say I am thankful for that. It allows me to be able to take my prayers with me wherever I go. When I held it in my hands for the first time again the other night, I just froze. It took me a long while to open it, but when I did emotions just flooded my body.
The next morning I woke up early and read through the Easter story in the book of Matthew. Humbled is an understatement for how it always makes me feel. This year, even more so. Listening to Jesus talk to God in the garden and hearing him cry out in desperation. I felt connected to Jesus.
Progress was happening in me.
Night before last I spent re-watching the movie War Room. The scene where she rebukes Satan from her home is more powerful that I have words to describe. God wasn't ignoring my prayers. He wasn't hating on me, punishing me, purposefully making me feel alone. Satan was making me feel that way. God had a plan and His plan is perfect. I just didn't like His plan and that turned my cheek to him.
I went to bed after watching the movie feeling a sense of renewal, feeling ready to continue in my steps forward in my prayer life.
So, as I work on me, I ask you as I do every year in this Lenten season... how may I pray for you?
My mind and my heart are ready...
"Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live." Psalm 116:2
HAPPY EASTER SEASON! Hugs, Anna