Sunday, August 31, 2008

Prayer Life

I have been pretty down on myself about my prayer life and lack of prayer lately. Thinking that I've really sucked at keeping up my part of the conversation. After I asked for prayers for those in the path of the hurricane, I got to thinking about my prayer habits and what they have really been like over the past few months.

I've been struggling with most daily activities, so I thought that prayer obviously had gone by the wayside. Daily, people tell me that they are praying for me, for my comfort, my treatment, for more good days. And every time I say "yes, please do, I really appreciate it." All of this time I was thinking about how I was lacking in this department, that I wasn't praying the way I should be in this time of my life.

And then I got to thinking about people who I find important in my life, people who are struggling with things that may be similar or vastly different than what I am handling. I was thinking about friends from home, friends in Columbus, friends across the country, and how often I think of them. And I realized that every time I think of them, and imagine what it would feel like to be them, I offer up a little prayer for their safety, for guidance, for comfort. So, my prayer life might not have dried up as much as I thought it had.

I sure am grateful for all the prayers I have received, and for all the ways I've been blessed in my life, and I make that gratefulness known on a regular basis. But how often do I actually pray for myself? I keep everyone else in my life so uplifted in prayer, that I often forget the one person I am closest to. Then I get down on myself because I am not praying the way I should be. I've been rereading Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies and she talks about sometimes her prayers consist of "help me, help me, help me" and "thank you, thank you, thank you." If this is enough for her, could it possibly be enough for me?

I also recently read Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love where a friend tells her that she should not be afraid to ask for exactly what we want. Glibert like myself does not feel comfortable doing this, but her friend encourages her do to so, explaining that her case will at least be heard. This makes sense, what I want, may not be the thing that God wants for me, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Just like it doesn't hurt to ask Santa for a pony. I'm going to try not to be disappointed if what I want doesn't line up with what God is doing in my life... But who knows maybe I will get even just a portion of what I ask for.

So I will continue to pray for those who I love and care about, for those who I haven't met yet, and I will continue to give praise for all the blessings I have received. But perhaps from now on, I will add a little petition for myself, in hopes that I will be led in the direction that works for everyone.

Know that I am praying for you.

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