People say praying is the easiest thing in the world – like talking to your best friend.
Problem is though, I struggle with what to say to people sometimes. I’ve spent my life talking, both professionally and personally, yet I default to quiet. Quiet is good, but I’ve found that with my relationships I need the other person to engage too.
For the 50 days leading up to Pentecost, I was blessed to be part of a prayer group who committed to praying via Zoom every night at 8:30 pm. I admit that at first, this terrified me. Not because I don’t like to pray, but because I was going to be one of the people who led many of the sessions and that meant praying out loud in front of people.
I know this is silly, but I can get caught up in how other people sound when they pray. You know those people who just sound so lovely and know exactly what to say and can transition between topics seamlessly? In my mind, that’s everyone else in the world. When I hear myself pray, I hear my mousy voice and a jumbled mess of words.
Here’s the thing though. God created my voice and my mind. He expects me to use them – mousy, jumbled, or otherwise.
So, here was my chance to face my fear head on. 50 days of getting over myself and focusing on what really matters – simply talking and listening to God.
The people in this group are true prayer warriors. They’re the kind of people who pray about starting to pray! No joke! They want to have the right heart, the right mindset before even getting started. I’m amazed by these people.
The 50 days were incredible! Yes, it was a challenge some days. 8:15 pm rolled around and I really just wanted to put on my jammies and watch TV. It was so worth it to join in though. Maybe some days I was motivated by the fact that I was leading part of it, but here’s what I noticed. Whatever the motivation, I was completely blessed by the end of the session. I had spent time with the Lord. We’d had a conversation.
Our prayers covered a lot of bases. We praised God for his goodness. We confessed sin. We prayed for revival. We rested in his promises. We prayed for one another, from seeking answers to really tough health questions to issues with elderly parents. We prayed for missionaries and for our neighbors. You name it, we likely prayed for it.
Just like any habit, a habit of prayer takes time to form. I’d love to say that after night one of the prayer journey I was all in and on fire to pray every night. Honestly, it took discipline. It took commitment. Just like exercising and eating healthy, I had to make a choice daily to do it. I had to make it a priority.
What an incredible reward came from that commitment! God spoke through the prayers of others. He spoke through my prayers.
And… over the 50 days I witnessed a lot of answered prayer!
ALL prayers are heard. Some of ours were answered definitively. The rest are in progress and will be revealed at just the perfect time.
It really is a two way conversation!
I needed those 50 days. I needed to be surrounded by warriors who sought God first. I needed their example. I needed to work on making prayer more of a habit.
I 100% see prayer as a line of first defense (and offense too for that matter!). I’ve always known the importance of prayer. I just never felt like I was “good” at it. What I learned was that it’s not about being “good” at it. It’s about showing up. It’s about making time with God a priority.
Who cares if my words are jumbled? Who cares if my voice is mousy? God wants a conversation with me and is blessed when I use the voice and mind he created to have it.
Are there habits you need to form? What’s it going to take to form them?