These days, most people take pride in having a small circle of friends. We definitely live in the era of “no new friends” and it often causes us to miss out on people that God is trying to place in our life.
I’m glad that God has rid me of that narrow-minded mentality.
I am SO fortunate to have such amazing friends. Old friends, for sure, but new friends as well. They’re always there when I need them. They hold me accountable. They make life a lot easier to handle. God has blessed me with such an amazing circle (that is bigger and more solid that I could have ever imagined), with each person pouring into me in different ways, and vice versa. I know who I can pick up the phone and call when life gets real.
TRANSPARENT SELF CHECK: God has gifted me with such awesome, spirit-led people that sometimes I neglect to hit Him up first.
Yikes, my stomach turned when I typed that. It’s real though. People are tangible. People are HERE. I can talk, in person, to people NOW.
Still, ain’t I supposed to call on God first?
Philippians 4: 6-7
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I know, I know. It’s definitely a Christian cliche. Struggling? Talk to God. Stressed? Talk to God. I know, in the heat of the moment, ain’t nobody trying to hear that. Trust me, I get it. I’m ministering to you as I’m sitting in the audience. Hear me out though. As a Christian, who do we follow? God. Who are we allowing to guide us? God. "Order My Steps" isn’t just supposed to be a song; it’s supposed to be a lifestyle. “Order my steps in Your word, dear Lord. Lead me, guide me, EVERYDAY.” How is He going to guide us if we aren’t in constant communication with Him? It’s like our parents trying to get to know us and discipline us while we live in separate countries. How would that even work? Most likely, it wouldn’t. Our parent is supposed to be the closest person to us. We came from them. They are supposed to direct us, support us, and redirect us when we’re on the wrong track. That’s what God is supposed to be for us, but it’s almost impossible if you aren’t keeping in touch with Him.
I can’t stress enough that this message is for me. Like, I know this is for someone else as well, which is awesome. But I want you to know that this is something I’m trying to get better with. I’m a chronic analyzer, so I’ve picked this apart, like I do everything else. Let me lay it out for you.
When praying, I sometimes:
Think that I’m not praying “good enough”.
Get distracted. My attention span is as thin as a Fruit Roll-up at times.
Fall asleep. If I’m praying in my bed, it’s almost always a wrap.
Fear that I’m not praying for/about the right things.
After factoring all those potential occurrences, it’s like I don’t even know where to start. HOWEVER, after a lot of trial and error, I found a couple of things that work for me.
My first remedy to all my prayer problems is journaling. Not blogging, but my actual private journal. This is where I’m able to get REALLY real with God and actually see what I’m praying for. Sometimes I go back and read old prayers to reflect on what He’s brought me out of. Sometimes I’m reminded that some of the things I asked for weren’t in His will, which is okay because I know He still hears me.
1 John 5:14:
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
Another thing that I do to try and make sure I’m in constant communication with God is pray out loud. Believe it or not, the reason why I do this is because A) when I pray silently it’s easy for my thoughts to try and pollute my prayers and B) talking out loud just seems more natural to me. It’s as close as I’m going to get to having a personal conversation with God. It makes me feel more comfortable and I’m able to just talk like me. “Gracious and heavenly Father, we come to You today, humble, head bowed, broken, unworthy…” I admire people that pray like that, the ones that know all the cool church prayer sayings. That’s not me though. Mine is more simple and straightforward than that. Still respectful and thankful, just in Ki’s words.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus"
This scripture pretty much sums it up. My overall goal is a consistent prayer life. I do okay now, but there is always room for improvement. I never want to get to the point where I’m reaching out to God just when things are bad or when I’m in need. I want and need constant consultation from Him regarding everything, big or small. I want Him to know that I appreciate Him and that I want to continue to build this relationship, never leaving His presence. And if/when I ever stray from continuous conversation with Him, I want it to feel so uncomfortable that I come running back, quicker than I left.