Praying when frustrated.

prayerSometimes I get nervous about my prayers I wonder if I am getting it right. I worry that I have not found the best path to God, the right path that will get results. I anxiously search out methodologies that others have found successful.

There may be many reasons for my anxiety but, for me,  two issues come up more often than any others. I am too intimidated to pray or I am too frustrated to pray.

Sometimes when I pray I stumble around fishing for words and I feel inadequate. I listen to others pray and they sound so eloquent and I sound so dumb. This can all be very intimidating and can sometimes become a reason I don’t pray.

Sometimes it can be frustrating to pray.  I pour out my heart, pleading, and it seems that God is not listening. I remain steadfast and faithful and still it does not seem like prayer works. This leaves me wondering what difference prayer makes. It is less frustrating if I don’t pray.

My insecurities, doubts and questions about prayer at times create a feeling like God is far away. God is distant and not listening. My words bounce off the ceiling right back into my lap.

These challenges led me to reflect on prayer, look at prayer in the Bible and then listen to see what God says about prayer.  I started with David’s prayer in Psalm 139.

You have searched me, Lord,and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern paths; you are familiar with all my ways. ~ Psalm 139:1-3

This prayer starts with God’s intense desire to know us – God is searching us – investigating us – this search has the sense of digging in or drilling down. “O Lord you have excavated me” One person translated it “Lord, you dig me.” God already knows David’s hopes, dream and joys.  God knows David’s’ failures, fears and sins. God knows all about David.

And God knows all about me. When no one else notices – what no one else bothers to know about me – God searches me out. God is endlessly fascinated with me. What a great way to start a prayer,  “O Lord you have searched me and know me. I am an open book to you… “

Remembering this helps me to keep praying even when I am frustrated.

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The need for noise.

From the Storyline blog.

I like to sleep with the radio on. But not because I listen to it. It’s the noise I need.

That constant hum of static, chatting and breaking news helps me block out everything else. It keeps me from thinking about actually needing to fall asleep. It prevents me from reeling over the details of the day or what needs to happen tomorrow.

But there’s a cost to sleeping with the radio on all the time.

It means without it, I don’t sleep at all.

There are other costs too. The radio also blocks out some of the good stuff, like rainstorms and wind in the trees. I can’t hear the faint cries of my daughter down the hall or the bubbling fountain out on my patio. And honestly, it probably leaves me more vulnerable to not hearing a thief trying to quietly slip into the house at 3 o’clock in the morning.

*Photo Credit: Bady qb, Creative Commons

But I need a way to escape the silence, so I take that risk.

I need my noise.

We’re like this with a lot of things. We get so used to the convenient, low hum of our white noises of choice that we are no longer comfortable just sitting still. Quietness and being alone with our thoughts can be scary. We need a little something extra to drown out the silence.

The noise is often just a Band-Aid to pain. The low hum helps us from facing the deeper parts of our story. The incomprehensible chatter in the background fills the lonely space.

At the core, noise is escapism, yet it keeps us from being free. 

And the only way to overcome escapism is to stick around. To stay in some of the silence. To allow yourself to sit with what hurts. To grieve what has been lost. To allow your thoughts to move to the deeper, unexplored places of your story.

It won’t be easy.

Trust me, I know. I have tried to turn the radio off at night, and quieting my life often feels virtually impossible. But what might happen if we bravely embraced the quiet?

I believe on the other side of our discomfort with silence is a symphony of new sounds waiting to be discovered. It might be where you discover a new truth of who you are and a song of freedom that you’ve been waiting to hear.

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Filed under Just Curious: Random thoughts about the world.

Wonder

Originally posted on Charis: Subject to Change:

Rundle fog IMG_9764 crop

Giving up faith is giving up wonder.

-Allan Brouwer

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Filed under Quote This: Somebody had a great idea.

Free For All Friday 07.25

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My pond remodel is complete and my garden is in all its glory this week.

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Have a great weekend!

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Perpetual

Originally posted on Charis: Subject to Change:

IMG_2341 joseph creek crop

Christ is not a reservoir but a spring. His life is continual, active and ever passing on with an outflow as necessary as its inflow. If we do not perpetually draw the fresh supply from the living Fountain, we shall either grow stagnant or empty. It is, therefore, not so much a perpetual fullness as a perpetual filling.

- A.B. Simpson

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Filed under Find Truth: Defining and defending reality.

Blog #1001

376Hard to believe. 1001 posts. 44,939 views  from 157 countries.

Thank-you to my 575 followers.

Bless you!

(And thanks for the encouragement honey!)

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Lust

purityLust is the craving for salt of a person who is dying of thirst ~ Fredrick Buechner

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Filed under Find Truth: Defining and defending reality.