“Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.”
Prayer is hard. I have been wrestling with the concept of prayer and how to incorporate it in my daily life. Frequently, as I lay in bed to pray, I either drift off and think about my to-do list/plans for tomorrow or I just fall asleep. Either way, I fall out of prayer.
As a Christian, who wants to continue to grow a relationship with God, I have been spending intentional time each day to read the Word. Currently, I am up to the New Testament and am on the home stretch to finishing the entire Bible. So, I read my Bible, I take notes, I go to church, I listen to Christian podcasts, and I sing along to worship music in the car. I am doing all the things that one should do to pursue God. Right?
Well, during this time of devotion, learning, and listening, I have fallen out of prayer. I am struggling to feel Him with me like I have in my past. I miss feeling the tears fall when I tell God about what I am thankful for. I miss feeling joyful when thanking Him for giving His Only Son that I may live in eternal life. (John 3:16) Gosh, I miss that feeling of the Holy Spirit beating in my chest.
What am I doing wrong to not feel Him? I will be honest with you. (As I have assured you, I will not cover things up) As I am typing this, I am trying to hide from God. I am hoping that this will count as my prayer and cry for help.
GOD HELP ME FEEL YOU AGAIN!
Can anyone relate to the feeling of praying and feeling like it is not being received by God? Or am I the only one?
Scripture tells us in Matthew 7, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
Then, why am I not receiving? Why am I not finding? Why isn’t anything opening? What is wrong with me?
Well, before He can answer our prayer, we must be made right with Him.
What I “forget” to pray is, “I am sorry. Forgive me for I have sinned. Forgive me for I have cheated on you with other things (shopping, money, work, social media, TV, friends). I have put other things like my ‘to-do list’ above you. I have loved myself first before loving you. I have been selfish and have fallen into temptation. Please forgive me. Make me new in your image. Help me to steer away from evil and into your good truth.”
In John 3, Jesus tells Nicodemus (a man of the Pharisees) the he must be born again of the Spirit. “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.”Jesus is describing how we will not understand how His Spirit acts. We will not comprehend why we feel the Holy Spirit when we do and when we do not. But, Jesus assures us that His Spirit is “with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”When you surrender yourself and faithfully give up your soul for Jesus, the Holy Spirit will forever be with you. We may not always feel His presence, but that does not mean He is not with us.
So, for me, I have not been feeling His presence lately. This will not lead me to doubt Him, instead, it will challenge me to continue to devote more trust in Jesus and more energy to prayer. After reading the book, Love Doesby Bob Goff, I took some advice that he mentioned. I bought a notecard booklet. You know, the notecards that are compiled together by a spiral bound? Well, if you do not, then you need to find one and buy it. On every notecard, I have written a prayer for myself, a family member, or a friend. Also, I wrote specific bible verses that relate to each prayer. This helps me stay connected to Scriptural teaching in my prayer life. This is also a great tool to keep up with your prayers and watch them be answered on His time.
I easily get distracted and forgetful of things I need to pray for. That is why I have loved following through with the guidance Bob Goff provided in his book.
So, as I have been struggling with praying and focusing on the power of God, I have encouraged myself to not give up on God and to never question His work and I want to encourage you to do the same.
Before I stop typing, let me assure you of something. Jesus says that we should be like children. If you have ever been around a child, you know that they are far from perfect. However, we must learn to be more like them because children have a way to accept things in simplistic ways. They tend to believe everything as a fact. Children do not question things like adults do (me being a twenty-something year old). Oh, and children act with humility without even realizing. Matthew 23:12 says, “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Our job is to humble ourselves in front of God and He will reward us.
In other words, prayer does not have to be perfect, it was never intended to be and will never be. Rather, God wants you to come to Him with all your imperfections and messy sins. Like a child running to their father, run to God full of joy, adrenaline, and dirty hands.
Let us pray.
I pray that you ask our heavenly Father for forgiveness. Always be thankful for the Lord’s mighty gift of mercy, grace, and compassion. I pray that you will take up your cross daily and that you will abandon your own ways for God’s way. Let the Holy Spirit fill your soul. Wait on His precious timing to answer your prayers. I pray that you continue to trust God when things are easy and when life gets hard. In His Might Name Amen.