I kinda suck at prayer, I think. Not that I don’t pray, because I do. I pray often and for others. I’ve been asked to pray many times for those who need prayer. I’ve prayed for their desires, their wants, their hopes for a certain outcome, and still I find prayer to be a struggle. I struggle because underneath prayer, down deep in places where the act of prayer can cut is a stark reality that I may pray but God doesn’t always answer the way we think He will. His answers can look a lot like a different outcome that is not a description of the words that were spoken. Which leaves me feeling vulnerable and seemingly without faith, well at least, my prayer seemed faithless due to the outcome.
I read something today that sparked this ponder post. It simply said, “My prayers became real once I realized that prayer was not a place to bypass pain but enter it.” Entering pain is not something that anyone desires to do.
But prayer is the haven of the unknown, isn’t it? It is the place where all the unwanted thoughts and fears collide with the potential of joy coming through to the other side. It’s not the joy of circumstances changing, or good outcomes. It’s the joy of finding God in the middle of the struggle and realizing He is walking with us through the circumstances and struggle. Oh, how we just want what we want, while God wants us.
I think we just want painted outcomes. We want picturesque moments. We want the upside of life all the time. How do we even know what the painted, picturesque, upside looks like without the hard, messy, dark side of life? We don’t! It’s in the contrast that we see His radiant glory. Sadly, I think that means we would rather have the high side of life than we would have God, Himself. That’s the wrestling match of life in a sentence. God help us want You more than we want any outcome. It’s all dead without You anyway. Good Lord, how long have we been fooling ourselves?
All is grace,