I'm at that place where I'm getting tired of praying for the same thing over and over again. Oh, sure, I get creative and pray about that thing from different angles, and I put new twists on it, but really, I keep begging for the same miracle.
I know I have to keep praying, because if I don't, who will? I have this burden that is growing in weight and depth and sometimes I can barely breathe or move and other times I get an adreneline rush so severe that I pace in circles through my kitchen, family room entrance, living room and back to the kitchen. Sometimes the fear of how God will answer paralyzes me and I just cry.
In addition to The One Thing that has been on the top of my prayer list for 18 months (and if something is on the top, it means I talk to God about it All Day Long, everyday) I have about a dozen other things that I tag on while I have His attention. Because my One Thing concerns someone I love very much, I never forget to bring him to the Lord almost hourly for protection. And to ease my guilt (HOW twisted is that? Guilt for praying for the same person too many times? I've got some sick theology going on, let me tell you), yes, well, to ease my guilt about bothering God continually in regards to my One Thing, I tack on a whole list of names of people/kids/friends who could use prayer as well.
Yes, you read that right. In order to not feel guilty about praying too much about my One Thing, I pray for others. Is that a good thing? I don't know. And I don't know how to stop. It's obsessive. Obsessive prayers? Wha? Is there a pill I can take? Seriously.
Like I said, I'm getting weary from all the frantic "please God" utterances. Is He getting tired of hearing them? I don't know. He would probably like to see me have more faith in the whole procedure. I'm short on faith these days I think.
In the olden days, the kids and I used to pray together a few times a week.
That does not happen anymore, so I had a new idea about 6 months ago. I'd put prayer requests onto post it notes and stuck them to the cupboards in the laundry closet. The closet is upstairs in a private location, and we all do our own laundry - so each of us would see those notes and could pray when we visited the washer or dryer. Prayer requests would be for anyone I knew that had asked me to pray for them (job for one person, health from an illness for another, friendships for someone else, etc).
In 6 months not one of those prayers have been answered. (Well, OK, sure. Maybe they have. Maybe the answer was NO or Not Now. But come on. Not one single one of our requests was a YES? ) How discouraging is that? I'll tell you how discouraging... my kids don't bother praying anymore, "Praying is just making up thoughts in your head. They don't go anywhere." So I took the post-it notes down.
While I'm ranting (or sharing, depending on your point of view) can I say something else about prayer? It scares me to think that I've been earnestly praying about something diligently for a long time and been using the wrong words. And that's why God hasn't responded. Because it's my fault. For not, like, saying a particular prayer with certain key words.
I totally appreciate people sharing their magic formulas with me ... "I prayed this prayer that I found in a book and it really worked..." but it bothers me that God might be that picky about exact wording. Isn't that what the Holy Spirit is for?
So, all that to say, I'm ready for a miracle. I'd like to see a YES. Actually, I think I might need to see a yes. In fact, I'm going to be specific (another 'tip' I got recently) and ask for a miracle on Easter Sunday.
Easter Sunday 2009.
If you've got a special in with God and know some secret language that always works, (Latin maybe? Greek? Maybe you're pentacostal?) can you pray for my One Thing too? And if you'd like me to pray for your One Thing (and I'd be thrilled to) send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll bug Him about it on your behalf. I talk to Him all day long anyway.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Philipians 4: "Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns."
2. Colossians 4; "Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude."
3. James 1: "If you don't know what you're doing, pray. He loves to help. Ask boldly, believing without a second thought."
4. James 5: "Are you hurting? Pray. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.