Tuesday, February 15, 2011

conviction

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?

4 comments:

Marilyn said...

Rae... your voice is lovely to me. I have been waiting for you. You are in my heart.

Krissi said...

I find that my conviction isn't in where my weight is when I pray but whether I pray at all. I've been in a bit of a battle with prayer for a long time. I feel kind of stuck in that right now. sigh

Linda said...

I lived a couple of years doing just that. I called it having "devotions" as in loving God in my quiet time. They were the best times I had in my whole life. (I might add I was still depressed during those time but there was something juicy about my life) Then it dissipated, like sparkling confetti falling upside down. That is why I am frustrated in my walk right now. My prayers of love are flat like paper and I seem to be slow in hearing His voice or feeling Him.

Gail said...

I've never been good at sales. I'd starve if I had to make a living that way. Over the years I've been dissatisfied, as you all have been too, with who I am when I'm getting ready to formally address God. It's the "We need to talk" kind of one-sided conversation that I start when there is something I have to convince God to do. Heal, provide a job, sell a house, knock some sense into that drug addict's head so he'll behave, etc. I feel like a lobbyist sometimes. When I've off the prayer list clock though, it's easier to talk to him.