Saturday, May 23, 2015

When Prayer Gets Hard

I'm a doer. I have a hard time with not doing something. If I feel that there is something that should be done, could be done, or has to be done, I'll do it. I don't wait, I don't ask questions, I just do. So imagine me in a situation where I feel that I can do something but I know there's nothing that I should do.

Can and should are interesting words. Growing up I remember reading the story about about the little train that could. The little train kept believing that he could get up that hill and eventually he did. Being able to do something is fulfilling, it's exhilarating. Righting a wrong is good and it feels awesome. On the flip side of that, should is the cautious, analytical friend of can/could. Should is able to step back from the emotions of the situation and ask "is this really a viable option? Will any good come out of this?"

So what happens when can and should collide? What do you do with that? For me I scream. Sometimes audibly, sometimes on the inside, but I scream. I scream because I know I can handle the situation. I know I can take care of it and while it might get a whole lot worse, it'll be taken care of. But I also know that the situation needs to get better, not worse.

So what do you do now? You've recognized the cans and the shoulds of the situation. You've pretty much decided your course of action. So what do you do now? For me, I pray.

I pray that I will be able to control my emotions, I pray for the situation, for those involved in the situation. I pray that God's wisdom will fall on me and I will know beyond a shadow of a doubt if my coulds and my shoulds ever change.

For me the "first prayer" always feels really good. I've given it to God, I've recognized my limitations, and I've chosen the "high road." It's the prayers that follow that make it hard. It's the prayer 2 declares God's will over the situation all the while begging Him to do what you want him to do. It's the little hint that God's plan doesn't really match up with your plan and the twinge of remorse when you realize that His plan just might be better.

The prayers that follow are still hard, but they get easier. You become more willing to adopt the obviously superior plan {that plan being God's} and you recognize your limitations as a human. And you begin to truly embrace the "not my will but yours be done."

Prayer is hard friends. Sitting back and allowing God to work his plan over the situation is hard. Especially when you already have your "perfect plan" and God's plan doesn't match up.

Yet when we recognize our own limitations and realize the fulness of God's {obviously perfect} plan, life becomes so much more fulfilling.

I struggle with this every day. I struggle with praying for God's will when I really, really, really want my will. But friends, God knows that. He understands our struggle and He is ready to meet us where we're at and help us go the rest of the way. It's not going to take a day, or a week, or a month, or year. It's going to take the rest of our life. But being able to say, "I got through this and I allowed God's plan to permeate" is worth so much more that having your "plan" succeed.

God > I