Chasing Contentment

Monday, October 10

I think most Christians probably find one area or another of Christian service and Christian study become them most. I know people who are great teachers and others who are studious and have deep Biblical knowledge. I believe that what comes easiest to each of us probably connects with the spiritual gifts God gives each of us.

Prayer comes easily to me. I don't understand all of intricacies of it, and I don't believe that it's a Christian wishlist of requests to God, though I certainly make my share of requests, both on the part of myself and my family and on the part of others. It's just that, for whatever reason, prayer feels comfortable to me. It's the one area of my Christian life that I feel completely at ease, without any guilt or uncertainty. (And for me to find anything without guilt is a big deal!)

Real Live Preacher wrote an excellent post on Eliza's birthday about prayer. I love that he says we should see it not as an obligation but as an opportunity (or some such better-worded phrase).

Working full-time and having two children leaves me with little time for lengthy prayer sessions, so I work my prayers into the little moments of my day. I write the names of people close to me on my calendar throughout the month, and I pray for someone different each day. Whenever I look at my planner during the day at work and see that name, I say a quick prayer...sometimes I think that simply lifting that name reverently to the Lord is enough. I trust that the Holy Spirit is working with me to fill in the sometimes-huge gaps between my intentions and my abilities.

When I wake up in the night and can't go back to sleep, I pray. I work my way through the needs and desires of those around me until I'm calmer and less worried and more asleep than before. I have a Family Circus comic on the fridge in which one of the children tells another that their grandmother said that when he couldn't sleep he should forget the sheep and talk to the Shepherd. I enjoy that reminder.

I didn't do Bible Drills, and so there are days when I can't find the book of the Bible I need to be aiming toward, and I'm not going to impress anyone with my scripture memory or knowledge of the origins of a word. I can't compare Biblical stories to give someone encouragement, and ... well, the list of things I can't or I won't will go on and on.

What I can do is pray. And so I do. I get frustrated because I think that in the Christian community the phrase, "I'll pray for you," is about as common and heart-felt as "Have a nice day." I don't necessarily believe that all of the folks offering to pray for me really will. And so I never tell someone I'll pray for them or that I have already prayed for them unless I will or I have. I want my words to be mirrored in my actions.

And in that, I never ask for prayers from people I don't believe will really be saying those prayers. I want my requests to be as honest and as transparent as my offers. I am grateful for those who pray for me and my family, and I am humbled that God gives me the opportunity to talk directly to Him about me and mine and those around me and just about anything else that crosses my mind. I'm not sure what He does with my random and not-so-random thoughts, but I know that I am in a place of peace and comfort when I pray. And so I do.

Oct. 11 Addendum... I just read a really good post by Kim at The Upward Call about why we pray.

[  posted by Chel on Monday, October 10, 2005  ]


It's funny but when I try to pray I can't but when the Lord wakes me up at night to pray for someone I can. btw thanks for commenting at my blog.

By Blogger Amy, at 6:51 PM  

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