Friday, December 10, 2010

Right when you need it.

As a child, I often wondered about prayer, and what its purpose was.

I'd pray for a pony for my birthday, and get disappointed when it didn't show up.

Then, I'd pray that my Grandma didn't pass away because of cancer, and I'd feel sad at her funeral, thinking God didn't like me enough or think me worthy to answer my prayer.

So, for years, I sought out the answers I had deep in my heart about the intention God had in directing us to pray.

I'm grateful that God did answer my question, and now I don't just pray on occasion when I need an extra "boost", I pray all the time. While I'm driving, as I make dinner, when I'm doing yard work, whenever the thought of needing a "talk" with God comes to mind. I've found more peace in this now than I ever have.

When I realized WHY I was praying, it made the action so much more effective and inspiring. I feel that God wants us to know His purposes for our life, give our hearts emotional strength, and give us hope in the eternal that will produce peace and joy in our spirit. Though He reminded us that we *will* have trouble in our lives ("I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." - John 16:33), and promised us that He has given us the tools (prayer and the Bible) to rise above the certainly painful, difficult circumstances we live in on a daily basis.

When I start to feel angry, I pray that He will quiet my spirit and encourage either forgiveness or understanding that will cause me to let it go.

When I want so desperately for someone to be spared death or pain, I pray about it in this way- "God, I love this friend so much, and I want them to be safe and protected. But, if it  is your will for them to pass from this earth or endure pain, I know that you will use it to further your plans for their benefit and not to harm them. I also pray that your spirit of comfort will be upon them and those who love them to support them through this difficult time."

When I feel I want a Wii for Christmas (LOL), I pray that God would remove the desire for frivolous things and help me to focus more on His purposes and bringing joy to others. ;)

For me, prayer gives me the right attitude and outlook right when I need it.

What do you feel is the purpose of prayer? Meditation? Reflection?


  1. Very well written. I think I have come to the same understanding of prayer that you have. We need to be sure we are praying for the right things and with the right motivation. But we also need to be sure that we take our own steps to help get those prayers answered.

    There's the old story about the man who prayed every week that he would win the lottery. He promised that he would have the wisdom to handle the money properly and use it for God's glory. He died an old, broke man. When he saw God in heaven he asked why He never let him win the lottery. God responded... "You never bought a ticket."

    So I think it's okay to pray for a Wii... God does want us to be happy and have fun! So praying for a way to afford one by working out a budget... or praying that he will help you be disciplined enough to set aside X number of dollars each week instead of buying coffee... or praying that you win some random contest you enter... I think those things are all ok assuming that your whole life isn't focused on just the Wii and not the "real" things in life. (Which I know you don't have an issue with!)

    One last thought... Remember (or look up the lyrics for it if you've never heard it before) the words to Garth Brooks' song "Unanswered Prayers." It took me a long time to understand (and that song actually helped me) that God answers EVERY prayer... it's just that sometimes the answer is "no" and it is ALWAYS the right answer.

  2. I'm totally with you on that - I don't think it's wrong, per se, to pray for a Wii (it was just an example, I'm not really jonesing for one - lol), but with so many blessings in life, I try to focus on what really matters. I guess, it makes more sense for me to pray for things that bring me joy, not just a fleeting funsie. :)

    I LOOOOVE that song, by the way. It was one of the things I was thinking about when I wrote this blog. God has left so many of my prayers unanswered, and I'm completely at peace with where he has me. It's uncomfortable at times when I let my human nature pull me back into the emotion of it, but with an eternal perspective, I can live with more joy.

  3. I loved your thoughts on prayer, Erin!
    One of the main things I get from prayer is getting re-aligned with "reality"--the reality that this world is just a fleeting moment compared to what is to come and that I don't need to worry so much because in the scheme of eternity, those worries likely are quite trivial :) When I talk to God I'm also reminded that He is in control, that He is with me, and that He's already written the end of our stories--and it's good :)

  4. Oh, goodness - Tracey! That is exactly what I was thinking, but couldn't put into words. Oh, you just made me tear up a little (in a very good way) just reading this. Thank you for sharing!