Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I used to hate praying...but now....
I used to hate praying. I used to hate the idea of praying. I used to think it was stupid to pray, that people that prayed were stupid, that anyone that had ever prayed was stupid.
And then, I tried it. Really tried it. In a book I read a lot, there's a quote that says "almost the only scoffers at prayer are those who never tried it enough," and for me, it's turned out to be true.
As it turns out, I don't have to be all that fancy or even know exactly what the heck I am praying to. The thing that counts more than anything is the ACT of prayer - taking the time to pause and ask for help, guidance, comfort and strength. Just as important is to offer up thanks for the many things in my life that have nothing to do with my having earned them, but instead serve as evidence of grace and providence.
When things are going well, it's easy to pray - but when things are NOT good, or when I am afraid of what God's answer will be to my prayers (i.e. "No" or "Not yet!" or "I have something else in store for you, little one..."), I flat out refuse to do it, even though I KNOW it will make things easier, if not the circumstances themselves, at least my attitude towards them. Praying is not stupid. I only used to think so because I was scared that I would have to admit that there were things out of my control and that I was not the end-all, be-all when it came to making the decisions about how life would go. The true irony is that I had nothing to be scared of. Another line from that amazing book I quoted earlier is: "When we look back, we realize that the things which came to us when we put ourselves in God's hands were better than anything we could have planned."
So, the relief comes from the act of praying, and then, the faith that not only will things be alright, they will be better that I could have planned....because I prayed.
So, scoffers can scoff. I honestly feel badly for people that flat out refuse to try. I only hope they don't hold out as long as I did. We don't have to suffer in the storm - we can be calmed, if only we ask and keep asking.