Prayer is something that's always been running in the background of my life, but rarely *truly* in the foreground. Of course there's the daily thanksgiving of food before dinner, or silent 'Thank You Jesus' in my head when I miss getting plowed by a too-fast-taxi, and the little shout outs I do when I want God to help me with something, or my family, which are all still valid I'm sure, but not very... well, not my utmost for His Highest.
I had a small breakdown about my inadequacy this weekend. After day three of a new resolve Tristan and I made to pray at the beginning of each morning, I was just so upset, feeling like it just wasn't enough. I mean, so we made a list of friends' prayer requests that we committed to pray for, so what. Does that along with said other small instances throughout my day count as sufficient? Does five minutes in the morning and a combined two(?) minutes throughout the rest of the day really please God?
I do realize though that it's not about the "system" you have and if it's the right one, nor is it about the "side-aside-time" that God tallies up, it's the state of your heart He sees. And I know I'll never not feel adequate to come before Him, that's why we need Him and how we're kept close to the foot of the cross. But I still can't help but feel like there's something missing in the way it's being done. The way I'm doing it, like if I just figured it out, I'd have the proper algorithm to getting closer to God and feeling closer to God, which is ultimately the litmus test we put ourselves against, right?
So now, on top of our new prayer book and morning talks with Him together, we're going to try and make our own quiet time alone with Him and talk about it over dinner each night. Although Trist might be confident enough to use the Bible solo, I decided to start with a devotional as my tool (I need a little help and the Bible by itself is still a little too overwhelming for me to seek daily application). My friend Kassaundra had this book recommended to her a couple weeks ago on her own spiritual hunt, which I just ordered today. Maybe she'll be interested in doing our own little chats together about how they're affecting us. A little Woman to Woman support. That'd be nice. I'm also going to try and see if my little sister or mom can dig up my old college devotional.
So back to my little breakdown Sunday morning... Sunday night, we get to church and there's a guest pastor speaking, Jared Witt, who's starting his own church in the city, Incarnation, and Forefront has decided to be their sort of sponsor. Anyway, Jared's message was about Joseph in Prison and how he asked the cup bearer, whose dream he interpreted, to remember him when he gets out of prison. The application was to trust God even when you can't see the connection. Jared quoted Isaiah 55:8-9, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Jared segued into Ecclesiastes 5:2, "Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few." The very verse Tristan used that morning when I was fretting about how I don't feel like my mini internal prayers are good enough; robust enough. I was thankful for this reassurance at service. A little one-two-punch. I like it when God does that. And I was reminded, how God is watching over us even when we're not looking. We may not be giving Him our all, but He still loves and provides and answers us no matter what. It made me think of all the other things He did for me when I wasn't looking...
- When I was little and watched Strawberry Shortcake, I wanted to fly to The Big Apple City just like she did. Well, even though she flew in on a giant butterfly and the city wasn't made up of a giant red fruit, I still made it.
- ...And on my way to NYC, I was seeking more than a fun little adventure. I was feeling apathetic and a little numb, in more ways than one, and really wanted to find those missing life-elements. Revive some inner passions. He answered that too.
- In college, I developed this sort of dream that when I got married I wanted my husband and I to live our first year of marriage together in New York City. I thought it was a romantic city, adventurous, exciting (still do), so what better place to experience our first year together. Lo and behold... (well, be careful what you wish for, right?)
- You know how people used to ask you what your ideal job would be? Or maybe they still do. My answer throughout high school and college was always something that involved working in a huge building with doormen and passwords and where I'd have to dress up every day. It never dawned on me that came to fruition.