Dude, praying is rough. It’s hard to find time, focus, energy. I pray for the same things over and over and over and it’s honestly boring. Praying becomes much more a chore than a conversation between two friends or lovers. It becomes much more a dull duty than an energizing discussion.
But recently I have had some new insights on prayer that have changed my attitude somewhat. The other Sunday while eating lunch at my roommate’s house, we read a devotional blurb encouraging Christians to practice “adoration” in prayers before requesting. What this means is that we should take the first few moments of prayer to recognize who God is and to thank him for his involvement in our lives before throwing requests at him.
My roommate and I pray together every night and we gave intentional adoration a shot. It was awkward at first. Like, quite a bit. But after a few weeks of focusing on God before ourselves, I’ve recognized a big difference. When we jump right into prayer requests, the focus is on my problems. To be honest, these kind of prayers are almost more stressful. These prayers are really just lists of the things I’m worried about, and reciting them reignites that fear.
On the other hand, when I start a prayer by praising God for his ultimate wisdom, ultimate goodness, and ultimate control, I have to realize that–no matter how extreme my problems seem–the sky isn’t going to cave in and that (as long as I’m seeking after him), he’s not going to let me wholly screw my life over. This focus helps me to be at peace.
“When did we get so serious?
Can we just all stop acting unimpressed?
There’s a hundred million miracles in front of us passing by
God open my eyes”
Every day God shows himself in ways that should just floor us–if we weren’t so desensitized by familiarity: colors, weather, flavors, language, textures, emotions, personalities…
I’d like to challenge you to be intentional these next two weeks when you pray. Start by praising God for who he is and take a few moments to recognize his greatness, before word-vomiting your requests. Don’t get me wrong; as I said in a recent post (Begging God for Hamburgers) God loves hearing any and all of your desperate requests. But start by focusing on who God is. Because we serve a pretty darn great God.
Please comment with your thoughts. I love hearing from you 🙂