Praying Through

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

"The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:16
I have been wrestling.
Wrestling with Direction. Desire. Selfishness. Fear. Worry. Control. The Unknown.

I wish I could say I have answers to these things, but at this point, I don't.
I am an open book with most things, but in recent days, I have been sorting through things in my own heart and life quietly. I think my fears speak louder than truth most days. 
I have felt challenged in my own life and in my quiet time with these words that will not leave my mind "Pray Through."

I've been thinking about what this means for me. 
It means, my prayer life needs work.
It means it's exactly what I should be doing with all these struggles I listed at the beginning of this.

It means praying until there is a breakthrough.
It means praying until there is an answer.
It means consistently, fervently praying until there is peace.
It means not giving up just because I don't have the answer today.
It means believing in God's faithfulness and His promises to me.
It means running to God first with the worry before going to someone else. 
It means spending uninterrupted, devoted time sharing my heart with the Lord. 
It means being honest about where I'm at, trusting that He will be faithful to complete the work He has started in me. 

I have been reading various scriptures in relation to prayer, and Luke 18 is a perfect example of Jesus teaching his disciples about prayer and never giving up. 

Luke 18:1 (the message) reads: 
18 Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit.

It was never promised to me, or any of us, that life would be easy. In fact, the Word tells us that it is going to be hard. 
Honesty says there are times right now when I feel the answers aren't going to come, or maybe it won't be what I want it to be, but this is when I need to practice praying through.

One of my favorite verses is found in Philippians and it reads:

Philippians 4:6-7 The Message (MSG)

6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
While I can quote most of these scriptures, and have heard them over and over, sometimes I'm not sure its truth is as deeply embedded in my heart as it should be. I wish I could share and give voice to all it is that I am sorting through in my heart and mind right now, and maybe in time I will be able to. I do hope in time, that I will be able to share just how God answered these prayers. 

I usually write/post something when I have the whole picture to bring forward. Today is not that day. I felt there might be someone that needed to read this, and maybe if its you, just know- that if your searching, wrestling, or waiting on an answer. You're not alone.  Maybe you feel like your prayers are hitting the ceiling, or maybe you wonder if God even hears you when you cry to Him with your deepest desires, just know He is listening. And He hears you. 

I know my prayer life can use some work. 
I am practicing praying through. 
I hope this continues to change me in the waiting.
It is never an easy place to be, but there is beauty in this process.
I know and believe He hears me, my questions, my fears, and my desires. I am trusting that in His perfect time, He will answer.

If I can pray for/along side you in something, I would be honored to.
If you find yourself in the waiting, you're not alone.

The Process

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Somedays I feel like I will never be done learning this lesson.
A lesson that comes for a Type A personality like me with dread at times, dragging my feet in the mud, and praying change away constantly. 

Its a process.
For someone like me, I function best when things are black and white. Where there is a start date and a stop date. Where it fits exactly into my planner with a check box beside it that I can mark out when its completed. No surprises. Where preparation is welcomed and even appreciated. 
However, I am learning more and more that as much as I wish it was like this, life, and this journey, is about as far from that as possible.
Sure, I do believe strongly that we have to do our part in the areas where it requires planning, being organized, doing our part to be responsible and to be good stewards of all God has given us, but life, and each season that I find myself in, is exactly what I said. 

It's a process.

It was said in a recent sermon:
"Any area of our life where we struggle to control a situation, reveals and identifies a problem in our spiritual walk." It was also said that many times for people who struggle to constantly control, their lives can usually be summed up by one word: FEAR.
(If you want to hear the whole sermon- check out this link- Sermon- Surrender over Control.)

I have to be honest. Hearing this, made me say ouch just a bit, and I thought- I don't really try to control that much do I?

I can't say that specific things came to mind directly that I feel I try to control, but I feel I was made aware of fears I am currently wrestling with and what the root issue truly is. And if I'm being honest, it's lack of trust that God will take care of and provide for us. 
But- I have no reason to fear this. 
He's never let us go without before.
So why do I struggle so much?

Back to the process. I'm beginning to accept that maybe this isn't something I'm just going to accomplish and move on to the next challenge, but instead its something that has to be a daily choice for me. A choice to choose trust over fear. A choice to choose prayer over worry. A choice to choose bringing my concerns to Him first instead of texting anyone else. A choice to remember His faithfulness.

This season is truly one of the sweetest I've ever experienced. Eleanor has brought us so much joy and this stage in her life is so much fun. It comes with its own challenges, but watching her grow and learn daily, is such a blessing. But again, honesty would be to tell you that we are praying through and praying for things in our family, seeking the Lord's direction and guidance. Life has presented closed doors, disappointments, and the realization that some things may not be happening in our time frame. I have in my own heart been wrestling with some really big decisions, but in it all I'm reminded that its a process. That maybe it's okay to not have all the answers. Maybe I don't have to have it all figured out. Maybe its okay that I've felt the disappointment, the hurt, and even at times the fear of whats ahead, because in it, it draws me closer to the one who is in control. 

Its in the process that I'm finding my heart and my mind are being challenged. Do I trust? What are my motives? What does the Lord want for me, for us? Am I listening?

I'm choosing tonight, to trust. That His plan and His timing are perfect. That He will in His time answer my prayers. And however He chooses to answer, He is good.

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