If you’re anything like me, sometimes there are things in this Christian life that don’t come as easily as they seem to come for everyone else.
I love Jesus, deeply. And I do love talking to Him. But at the end of the day, I know that there were times I should have talked to Him and I didn’t, things I should have brought before Him, things that I should have prayed about but instead complained about to my husband/mom/friends. Things I whined about in my head but didn’t really bring before the God who wants to actually help me.
Honestly, prayer overwhelms me. Sometimes I look around this world and see so many hurting people, so many sick people, so many who are desperately in need of God’s help, and I don’t even know where to start. And I’ll start praying, and keep praying, but it seems that I never reach the end of the needs. And that’s simply because there isn’t an end to them at all.
I don’t want that to be how it is. As a mom, I want my kids to grow up knowing that their mom loved talking to Jesus and did so often. I want them to see me going to Him with hard things often, and not just taking it to whoever is closest to me here. I want them to see my need for Him, so that they will in turn see their own.
But right now, it’s a struggle. I wish it came easily for me. I wish I ran right to the cross with every issue, right away. And I wish that when someone asked me to pray, that I never, ever, forgot.
I will say that over this last several years that I’ve been walking this road of being a Christ-follower, I’ve learned a few things that help me. And if you’re like me and prayer doesn’t come naturally, these things might help you as well.
1) Set reminders.
When there’s something I really need to pray about, over a course of time, I set alarms for it. With this, I can remind myself to pray daily (or whatever days you’d like) for whatever that need is. Just don’t snooze it when it comes up, or turn it off. Stop and pray. (I’m totally speaking from experience here.)
2) Use a prayer journal.
I’m a writer (obviously) and for me, it’s easier sometimes to write than to talk out loud. Plus, if you are praying over something and write it down, then you can look back later and see how God was working. That has helped me immensely in trusting in His faithfulness!
3) Be accountable.
When someone asks for prayer, instead of saying, “I’m praying for you!”, actually pray! And then tell them, “I just prayed for you!” This was something my husband took upon himself to do so that he wouldn’t neglect to pray for people that he’d committed to pray for. I thought it was a wonderful idea, and it’s something I have tried to do myself.
4) Remember that it’s all about relationship, not what’s “right”.
Sometimes it’s really easy to get lost in the mindset of having to pray because it’s the “right” thing to do. God doesn’t want us to come to Him just because it’s what’s expected, He longs for our hearts to desire communion with Him! However, I will say that prayer does take practice, and sometimes it takes the obedience of showing up to pray even when it’s uncomfortable for it to become easier.
Sometimes, it’s takes all that I have to come before God and talk to Him. Sometimes I don’t even know what to pray, and all I can muster is, “Jesus, hear my heart when words fail me!” I am thankful that God does hear me, even when my prayers seem weak.
If you are like me and prayer is hard, I want you to remember that. God hears our prayers, no matter if we think they measure up or not. This is a hard lesson for me too, but it’s so true. Our prayers aren’t made strong because we are strong, they are made strong because HE is strong. And that’s the important part.
Keep on praying, mommas, even when it’s hard. I promise, it’s worth it, and it delights God so much.
“Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!” Psalm 141:2