Praying On Empty

Going through transitional moments in life can be all consuming. That decision to move from one phase to another suddenly defines everything that we are and despite knowing that our lives need balance, we give that one issue, that fear of the unknown greater weight and important aspects of our lives fall to the wayside.

Prayer becomes quickly mutter ‘Oh my God’s’ and ‘Please God’ in moments of exasperation, the worry means that Bible study is not done or done half-heartedly. It’s not that we stop believing or lose our trust in God, it’s just that we become too concerned navigating and imagining the “what ifs” and the desired outcomes that we forget to simply “make our requests known” leave it with God.

The fear of the unknown leaves us doubting the known. Staring in the dark hole of an unplanned future leads us to turning away from ‘THE LIGHT’.

Sure the Bible is full of scriptures that deal with worry and anxiety and these are scriptures that have been read and re-read. Scriptures that run through our head when the panic gets to us but because of the situation, we fail to truly meditate on the word. We simply repeat in search of short-term comfort but fail to key into the words.

“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. (Philippians 4:6-7)

One of the best ways I have found to deal with these moments is visual reminders. Philippians 4 is a fantastic scripture that reminds us to not only to cease worry but also to remain prayer focused. In moments of anxiety, printing this out and sticking it in a prominent place around me that requires me to stare at it, forces me to take a moment out of my day to pray using only this as a guide.

I pray against worry either verbally or in writing. Under this verse, I make space for post it notes so that I can simply write down my prayer for that day/moment and stick it underneath. This allows me to go back and pick a prayer point that I can repeat for a few hours or at intervals for the rest of the day. Learning that prayer doesn’t have to be an elaborate show means that I am able to use praying as a way of focus. Instead of trying to collect my muddled thoughts in an equally muddled cycle of prayer, I focus on the prayer point that came/comes to me from focusing on this scripture and talk it through with God. This conversation takes the form of a plea (petition), an intense conversation (prayer) or song (thanksgiving).

Forcing myself to come in contact with God’s word even if it’s just these two verses for a week or month allows me to overcome that feeling of being depleted by the unknown. It prevents me from shutting down in my journey with God and makes space for the Holy spirit to inspire.

 

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