Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I've Been Praying All Wrong

I saw this yesterday on Pinterest and immediately thought, I've been praying all wrong.

With so many of the challenges that we've faced, particularly those relating to PWS, I've prayed for peace. Or what I thought was peace. Which in my mind meant praying for the bad stuff to go away. Sure, in desperate moments, I called out for a God, HELP!, but I mostly just prayed for the hard things to stop. And I don't think that's inherently a bad thing... but maybe it's not the only thing. Or the best thing.

This quote combined with another that I read on a friend's Facebook page -- "He has never promised me an easy passage, only a safe landing." -L.B. Cowman -- led me to deep reflection. Mind you, I have not been good at "deep reflection" of any healthy nature in quite some time. My reflections are usually a mad twisting of rushed thoughts driven by anxiety, that come from nowhere good and lead nowhere good either. I pray desperately for what I think is peace because I cannot live in my head as it is and I cannot tolerate what is in front of me BY MYSELF.

So enter Jesus. He's said that he'll never leave me alone, that he'd send his Spirit to be with all of us and to comfort us, to guide us and lead us into truth. So when I'm panicked because Dean is stuck being on oxygen every night or we're in the hospital again or I'm agonizing about Cole's allergies or how crazy tired I am...


He IS here. With me, with you, wherever we need him to be. I want so much not to feel alone in these hardships, and I'm not. The presence of Christ himself is peace, because as the Cowman quote acknowledges, this stuff all around us isn't the easy and peaceful part. Rather than (just) praying for the hard things to go away, I can pray for the Prince of Peace to be felt more nearly.



Dawn said...

Well said. Pretty much what Easter is all about, huh?

Ali Foley Shenk said...

You bet, Dawn!

Elizabeth Johnson Phillips said...

At Sunday school this past week we went over that passage in Mark (14 I think?). It was the first time it hit me that the Bible's most clear prayer to me, "Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!" was the cry of a Daddy to a special needs kid. All the important people are squabbling about power and stuff, and there's the Daddy just yelling at Jesus. And the healing was so profound that at first it looked like death. And yet Jesus saw and heard that Daddy's plea--he met him in his frailty. And He has and will continue to meet you.

Elizabeth Johnson Phillips said...

False. Mark 9. Mark 14 is the anointing and crucifixion. Also important. And what is Easter is about, but not what I was talking about.

Jack said...

"In the world you will have tribulation" (we've been warned, but we still seem surprised) "but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world"

love, papa

Love is all you need said...

Great perspective. I am a firm believer in a God that loves us enough to help us grow into beautiful people by giving us trials and hardships. So when those times come my way, instead of praying them away I try to ask what I can learn from this. Thanks for sharing!