Tuesday, February 15, 2011


where do you put your "weight" when you pray?

as i reflect on my own history of prayer, i so often throw myself before God with the heavy weight of my need in the forefront. i pour my heart out, trying to convince God, as it were, of the absolute necessity of my request - whether it's for myself or someone else. i list the reasons my prayer is worthy, the need true, and why God should be moved by the passion of my concern. and alongside that stands my belief that God hears me, that He is active & present in the world, that He is the powerful creator & sustainer of all things who loves us more than we know.

the weight of my prayer, though, the deepest conviction i carry into my times of prayer, is that of the need, not of the God who meets needs. i have come to see that when i pray, i am much more sure of my need than i am of my God, and while this may seem like splitting hairs, i am learning profoundly that it is not.

i have begun to attempt - when i bring the needs of my life, and of those i love, before God - to place the deepest passion and weight of my heart upon my God, our God, who is supremely powerful & knows everything i could ask before it crosses my lips. you would be surprised how much mental energy it takes to reorder my heart that way.

it's such a relief, though, when i am able to take the pain & hurt, the overwhelming circumstance of life, and see them become almost bouyant in the arms of God - He takes them so easily. and it doesn't just reorder my experience of prayer... rather, it is beginning to reorder my whole internal world. i am beginning to find a deeper and richer experience of God in the mundane & everyday-ness of life, as well.

theophan the recluse once said, "most people are like a shaving of wood which is curled round it's central emptiness." it's a melancholy thought when one considers everyday life, but a devastating one when considered in terms of our conversations with God. without the knowlege of a God we are sure of in the center of every thought & prayer cast upon him, what are our prayers but wood shavings, curled around nothing?

i cannot encourage you enough to consider this honestly. where do you put your conviction when you pray? it is in your request, or in your God?