I love to talk.
And, having spent ten months in a Master’s Degree program that is suppose to teach me to listen more than I talk, I’m starting to realize how much talking I actually do, despite being an introvert.
Yet, for some reason, I struggle with prayer.
Maybe it’s because God’s not big into the whole audibly talking back thing, or maybe I’m just scatter-brained and get distracted too easily.
But no matter the cause, my prayer life is a constant obstacle course. It’s as if I’m able to hurdle the major distractions, just to fall flat on my face a few steps later (okay, maybe that’s a result of praying with my eyes closed…? I’m kidding.)
I know prayer is important. I know what God’s Word says about prayer. But it’s a huge leap from my knowledge to my actions.
I used to be so good about praying every day. I followed the “ACTS” guide (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplications), and I allowed myself at least one notebook page to fill every day. I did this for years. Then, last year sometime, I quit. I don’t exactly remember why, but I got tired of writing the same old things every single day, and it felt more like a chore than a loving conversation with my Creator.
I feel stuck on the surface level. Like I’ve forgotten how to go deeper. Like maybe a part of me doesn’t quite believe that my prayers matter . . . and that’s hard to admit to myself, not to mention on the internet.
But, one morning I had a little talk with God.
Because you see, I have something on my heart–something I desire so greatly that it’s become the number one thing I talk to God about–when I’m in the car, when I’m in the shower, when I’m falling asleep at night.
Yet sometimes I feel so inadequate. James 5:16 is very clear that “…the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
And I am so very far from being righteous.
And that’s that.
There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it, God doesn’t just hear our prayers, He desires them.
He’s not sitting around, waiting for me to get my act together so I can come before Him with my requests, He’s calling me to bring them before Him, prying them from my self-reliant fists so He can bring them to fruition in His timing.
You see my heart. You are painfully aware of every selfish want, every desperate desire, every shameful blemish. Yet you draw me to you still, gently dusting and cleansing the darkest rooms of my heart, taking my dreams off their shelves and working on my desires with your holy tools. I know I don’t deserve You. I don’t deserve Your help or Your mercy. Yet You freely give it to me. How can it be, my Lord? Please draw me back closer to You–I want to desire constant conversations with my Father, to be so in tune with Your heart that You can’t help but fulfill my desires because they reflect Your desires. Now please grant me the request on my heart–I know You want it too! Give me patience with Your timing, but please don’t turn a deaf ear to the prayers from my unholy lips. Purify me with your truths and let Your love spill out of me. I love you, Lord, as You wish.