I recently shared a post declaring my “one word” for 2015. Over the years God has given me a verse and a word for the year. Although regardless of what the word is it does not seem that the lessons end just because the year ends. But God seems be speak a word into my heart as a sort of a beginning of a life of lessons on a greater, deeper level.
I chose the word Grace for this year, but no verse. It didn’t come. A even though I chose grace it didn’t seem right. It is a good word. It’s a word God has been teaching me more about. My desire is to be a grace filled woman of God. The word seemed right, at least it seemed right to me.
Days after choosing it another word came to mind. A word I didn’t want. A word I know I struggle with. The word is prayer. The verse is Romans 12:12 “rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,” It the phrase “devoted to prayer” that pulls at my heart. I do pray. I have conversations with God through out the day. But sadly I would say they are more casual than devoted. I want to be a woman of prayer.
It’s not so much “the” gift of prayer I seek but as I read about the saints of old, about our church fathers and mothers they seem to have one thing in common. They were people who prayed. Some prayed for hours a day. I read a story of a man of prayer that actually wore grooves in the floor for he prayed so often. And what difference did all this praying do? These men and woman had great faith. There was a peace and grace about them. They were men and women who knew God deeply and intimately. More intimately than I do.
Intimacy with God is found through prayer. I want it. I long for it. But if you would allow me to be really honest, it also frightens me. Intimacy with God has always seemed somewhat unsafe. I mean He is GOD, The Most High, Creator and Lord of the Universe can I hope to have intimacy with Him? Besides, if He is in control, if He is Sovereign is my prayers really going to make a difference? Do we really change the mind of God? Isn’t God’s plans going to work out whether or not I pray? All these and more are questions that often haunt my mind. I’ve always pushed them aside and not really tried to find answers.
Romans 12 talks about a life that is acceptable to God, to be transformed and to have a mind that is renewed and while I need much works in many areas the one I believe God is asking me to focus on this year is prayer. To be devoted to prayer.
This is not so much about how to pray, but why do we pray? What does it mean to be devoted to prayer? What does a life devoted to prayer look like?
Oh dear friends that is part of me that is afraid. Afraid to admit that I struggle in the area of prayer, at least what I would consider a devoted prayer life. But I want to be honest. I want to be vulnerable. I want to be real.