Recently I posted about how my prayer life just wasn’t what I had thought it should be as of late. I have been living in the tension of knowing what it can be and the reality of what it is now.
For years I was tedious in prayer daily, keeping a prayer journal of requests and my own struggles and confessions. Now I sit with not much to say beyond quick words uttered in intercession for others. There’s the rub…right there. Pride. A haughty spirit. I thought I had arrived at my prayer life. That there wasn’t any more I could ascertain in it.
Oh ego, you got me quite well. I was checking off things and saying hurried prayers in rushed moments. I moved from time of sitting in His presence to a “Thanks God” mentality likened to an awards speech or finger pointed to the sky post-touchdown. So there I have been….for longer than I even want to admit to myself, to God and honestly to you all. Last month I was forced out of that as we have dedicated time of prayer (out-loud mind you) at work as a staff. You cannot “yay God” your way through that and while I rehearsed the prayers I would give aloud I found myself getting broken over my flippant and rehearsed nature towards time spent with God.
How would I like it if He responded to me just as I had been with Him lately? How would I like it if a friend treated me the same way I was treated Christ? Somehow when we apply the “what we can see” to God it punches us in the gut. It awakens us to a whole means of relationship which we have taken for granted with Him.
A few weeks prior I had picked up a book by Stormie Ormartian which a friend had recommended over a year ago in passing. I began to skeptically read this book on prayer, as I had already tackled Philip Yancey’s book earlier this year which seems to have had zero affect on lasting improvements. I found that Stormie’s approach to talking me through my prayer life was what I needed in this season. Some areas weren’t pertinent, and others have been highlighted, dog-eared and underlined because, well, they hit so very close to my heart that I know I will be coming back to this again and again.
I thought she overused Scripture to make it fit her writing at times, but found that at other times she used the exact verse for what my heart and mind were searching to voice. The one chapter which is entitled “Lord, Plant Me so I Will Bear the Fruit of Your Spirit” walks through praying the fruits of the Spirit into a life. It may be second-hand for many to know that, it was not for me. I wrestled with the fruits bearing out in my life because I was not seeking them in prayer. I was choosing to give of my first fruits but not seeking to be the recipient of the fruits of His Spirit. I thought if you didn’t have ’em by now, most likely you just wouldn’t have ’em. This chapter revealed to me that I can pray through them, in spite of my own self, my circumstances or my flesh. That He is the power within me and I do not have because I do not ask. I was becoming too satisfied with my measly requests for a good day or focus in my work.
But He is so much more than that. As am I. The Power of the Praying Woman gives strength only found in Christ back to your prayer life. It breathes truth, affirmation, conviction and life into this woman’s prayer life that had been lacking for far too long. I think prayer is important…not to change God’s mind but to change mine. To relinquish my heart and mind from the cares of this world and convene with Him in a way which only we can in relationship. Where I can sit in His presence and know He’s there. Where I can bear a heart out regardless of time and circumstance to a sovereign God who cares to listen, to hear and to give generously from the abundance of His love.