I'm not sure if I have mentioned it, but I have always struggled with prayer.
I'm not sure why, but I have always found it tiresome. No offence to God. But it's something I haven't always been strong in. I have always felt like I need to say the right things or pray the right way or my prayers could not work.
What I do love is writing. I could write for hours on end, so around 16 or 17, I started writing daily prayers to God. That helped a lot, but if I found myself unable to sit and write, then I guess I would be unable to pray.
Over this quarantine, we have been praying as a church both in the mornings and evenings for a minimum of two hours.
Baaaaay-baaaaay, let me tell you it was a struggle! S-T-R-U-G-G-L-E for me. At first, I hated it. I was complaining because it was such a drag, but then, slowly, I began to enjoy it. My eyes opened to the beauty of prayer. I also saw how necessary prayer is as a Christian.
As we continued to pray as a church, I began to pray in my heart throughout the day. It's something I've always done, but I decided in my heart to become more conversational with God as I went out about my day, at first, nothing really changed...but then, as a continued, I just sensed God's closeness to me. I can't explain it, but I guess the scripture in James 4:8 is really true (duh!)
Come near to God and he will come near to you - James 4:8
I can honestly say as I have included God more in my day-to-day, I have felt his direction and heard his voice a lot more. Honestly, it has just made me see how important hearing voice Gods voice is because it is so easy to stray from what He wants you to do. His ways are honestly not our own. We can never assume we know what He wants or desires. We need His guidance always.
I'll give you an example.
I think around 2 weeks ago, I was posting content online, it was doing really well, but inside I just felt empty, almost unhappy. It wasn't because I wasn't happy with what I produced, I was, it was like I almost knew that God didn't want that from me at that time.
So I literally took about 5 minutes, closed my eyes and asked God what He wanted me to do with my platform. I dedicated 'The M Word' to Him again and asked Him to give me direction and lead me. I went to bed straight after.
The next morning I woke up and my first thought was 'Millie, don't you have a friend who has a sick mother? Check up on her' immediately a girls name came to mind. I texted her, and as we were texting, an overwhelming sense of God caring about her mother filled me. It was so odd. I just knew my friends mum was on Gods heart. As I was texting her I just felt that God wanted me to spend time in prayer for her mum. That was my assignment. Not posting quotes, no pictures, no blog posts, just praying for a friend's sick mother.
That was Gods desire for me at that moment. Nothing to do with The M Word.
It just made me think, how many things do we miss because we are looking at socials or wrapped up in our own thoughts? Do you really know what God wants for you at this moment? We could focus on building treasures for ourselves but the bible says it's worthless.
The best thing to do is seek Gods face, and seek His heart - everything else comes after (literally).
Funnily enough, as I was telling my friend all that I felt, she actually said how the day before she had been praaaaaying to God about her mum. Crazy isn't it?
That's being a Christian though. We aren’t supposed to follow our will(even though we want to so badly sometimes), we are meant to drop it all to focus on Him, we let Him lead and guide us - even when to us, it makes no sense, or its tiresome.
I just thought I'd share this for anyone who struggles to pray like I did. Continue to pray, please. You desperately need to, even if you don't know it, you do. Talk to God throughout the day if you cannot bear spending hours in prayer. Pray without ceasing - 1 Thess 5:17. I believe as you make God a priority, you will feel or sense His leading in your life. His leading is so important. You cannot live a blessed life without it.
And what Im learning is that prayer is just talking to God. I talk to Him like He is right next to me. He’s my Friend and my Father. He wants to know what hurts, He wants to know why, He just wants to know everything. Sometimes I cringe as I pray because Im like well, I shouldnt be saying this but (insert embarassing confession), but its those prayers based on honesty that invite God to work on the parts of you that NEED to be worked on. Thats what will truly change you into vessel He needs.
Its not enough to pray vague prayers.
Its not enough to say God let your will be done in my life.
Imagine if I had a friend and everytime I saw her I repeated the same vague statement to her? There would be no closeness.
So spend time pouring your heart out to Him. Tell Him about your jealousy, your insecurity, your fears, your dreams and your needs. THEN ask for Him to speak to you and guide you. Expect Him to and He will. Have faith.
Thats what creates and maintains true intamacy with Him. You dont need to appear to be holy when you pray either. As a mum, I rarely have time to myself so when I find myself getting overwhelmed, I will often go into the toilet, sit on the loo and vent to God for a couple of moments.
Thats the beauty and simplicity of prayer. You can be completely yourself and He will listen, respond and work it out for you.
Just my thoughts!