Monday, February 27, 2012

Hippie-Type Praying: Stop Striving, Start Enjoying!


What is your definition of prayer?

Yesterday, I was listening to a podcast from one of my favorite pastors.  Although I think really highly of this particular pastor, I was less-than-satisfied with his definition of prayer.  In his message, he made it seem like prayer was most often something that you did behind closed doors, in silence, that was scheduled into your day in blocks, that included a prayer list of special needs...  That prayer was offering our requests and petitions and heart's cry to the Lord.

Yes.  I agree.  Those things are true of prayer.

But, I got antsy inside, because I believe prayer is SO much MORE than that.  If prayer is just about being in a room alone presenting a grocery list of needs, I am officially bored out of my mind.  And, I don't know of very many people that have free enough (or consistent enough) schedules to make that sort of prayer lifestyle work.

Don't hear me wrong.  I applaud and respect those of you who ARE disciplined prayer warriors who HAVE set aside blocks of quiet time with the Lord to offer up your requests and petitions.  Thanks for your obedience and for your commitment!  However...

I believe that there are even more people in the world who have heard verses about prayer in the Word, who have heard their pastor encourage them to pray, who have listened to the Spirit calling them to intercede, who have obediently stepped forward in hopes of being more devoted to prayer...but who have all miserably failed.  The more they tried, the more they got bored, they got busy, they got distracted, annoyed and just plain frustrated.  They leave thinking, "Man, I am NOT a good Christian.  I suck at prayer.  I can't do this."  They continue to live in a lie, believing they will never measure up and that prayer will never be one of their strengths in their walk with the Lord.

That was me.  But, over the last five or six years, my perspective and heart for prayer has changed dramatically, by the Lord's grace.

I've gotten to know myself.  I am a free-spirit, creative and spontaneous.  I realized that the Lord loved who I was...that He created my personality for a reason, and that He could meet me in spite of and in the middle of my quirks.

I stopped locking myself in dark and silent rooms for hours.  I stopped setting the timer for an hour (that was the time I thought I should be able to pray "without ceasing" to be a good Christian).  I stopped drinking large amounts of caffeine to keep me from falling asleep in the middle of my prayers.

I stopped looking at prayer as something I had to do to be a good Christian, and I started looking at it as an ongoing relationship.  I stopped striving and started enjoying.  A walk through the park together, savoring the beauty of our surroundings.  A good conversation over a cup of coffee...  Advice from a trusted mentor.  Sharing the joy of a fun activity with my best friend.  Even, a disagreement and an apology with someone I love...  Or, just sitting and enjoying the silence with my husband.

Prayer became connecting, breathing, ongoing.

Connecting?  Breathing?  I am just re-reading what I wrote.  I am starting to sound like a new age hippie.  In the future, maybe I'll stop being so vague and write about what my hippie-type praying looks like logistically.  I promise it's not weird.  And it is FUN.

PLEASE don't believe the lies.  Prayer doesn't have to be boring.  Prayer doesn't have to be monotonous all the time.  You CAN pray.  You DON'T have to suck at it.  It CAN be enjoyable.  You CAN be a prayer warrior.  You CAN have an intimate relationship with your Creator.

1 comment

  1. Oh my. I don't think I could relate more to you in this. Took the words right out of my heart. Thankyou! :)


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