I speak on my struggle with prayer a lot. I have such trouble with understanding how to approach a God who is King of all and Over all, but still calls me friend. What does that look like whe. You’re approaching Him with reverence, but with the cares of your day, small and mergers as they feel? How do people do those kinds of things? How do people reconcile that in their minds and just….pray?
Today’s sermon at church was on prayer. The Lord’s Prayer to be exact. I didn’t know that though when I came to church. All I knew was that I hadn’t been to my home church for weeks and weeks because of *instert a thousand excuses that end with me taking a nap here*. I brought my journal with me, as I often do, but today, before the service even started, I wrote a quick letter to God, expressing how my attitude when I entered church wasn’t in a good place. That I was not feeling welcome, was tired, and honestly, was apathetic about being there.
I drank my coffee in silence in a corner of the Fellowship Hall where there was a couch. The screen was on for those who would rather sit with their restless children or avoid the crowd of the sanctuary and as I heard the music start, I decided I was going to do something I hadn’t done before….I was going to sit in he sanctuary. In the front row.
When I sat down in the front row of the service I immediately regretted it. What had come over me? Why did I choose to do this? That wasn’t like me at all! People were staring. People could see the back of my head! What was I doing up there all by myself? Why was I being so dumb? What was my heart pounding in my chest? I took deep breaths and closed my eyes as the Worship Team sang…badly I might add…and calmed myself down. No one was looking at me. They were looking at the screens. No one was scolding me for being there. People don’t care that much about it. Just be there. Just listen. Clearly something has come over you and it needs to be this way. Just listen. I self talked during the whole beginning praise and worship time. I was allowed to be there. I was welcomed even if I didn’t feel it…and if I wasn’t God wanted me there.
So I listened.
We were in Matt. 6:5-15 that morning. And as my pastor spoke on the subject of prayer, I felt something. I don’t know if it was the Holy Spirit moving in me, or if my thoughts just finally made a connection, but in my journal I wrote down a realization that I had not really thought of before, and I wished the pastor had said something about.
God knows our prayers before we even speak them. So why do we pray? Why should we pray? Because when you give a person the silent treatment, you are ignoring their existence. It’s the same with God. Prayer is not just communication, it’s not just worship, it’s not just expression of dependence, confession, a deliverance from warfare, a recognition of Gods Will, though it is all of these things as well. But it is also an acknowledgment of His existence. To pray, is to affirm that you know God exists, or at least hope in His existence.
I had not really thought of this before, which is why I am both inclined and hesitant to say it is a revelation from the Holy Spirit. I want to be careful making that claim. But it was a realization that caused me a great deal of encouragement. Even though I felt my letters I wrote to God in my journal were trivial and small, even inadiquate, I was acting in obedience to God by acknowledging His existence in my life.
That renewed me today.