BY PAUL DUNK
Well it's simple really. I don't pray enough.
I don't mean "enough" in the chronological sense like there is actually a right amount of prayer.
By "enough" I mean that when I waste my brain energy in worry, fear, anxiety, anger and complaint, I should probably clue in and pause to pray. Instead, I revel in all the "what-if's" I can conjure up like an idiot.
Here's my problem: self sufficiency.
Often I'm convinced that whatever I'm dealing with ... it hasn't reached prayer-status yet. There's still time for me to do this without God. Just give me another day on it and all of heaven will slow-clap me. Just wait.
There are scores of books on prayer, so I will refrain from writing one here. Besides, I think I've disclosed enough to convey that I shouldn't write a book on prayer.
This is an area of spiritual immaturity I'm not proud of and I earnestly desire to grow in this. I decided to write on this subject of prayer because I did actually learn something in my miserable sin of worry this week that I hope serves you to find the peace of God a lot faster than I did ...
Anxiety grows as we meditate on things we wish we had that seem to escape us or on things we wish we didn't have that seem to be clinging to us.
Here's the good news. Because you are in Christ, the place you are in - regardless of how lonely, scary or insufferable it seems, is not beyond the reach of God's grace. This is not to say that the situation you are in will turn out as you would have it if you believe enough or pray enough. Rather, because of His relentless love for you, He will work your situation out according to His will - which, believe it or not, is wiser than yours.
"God's answer to our every prayer is exactly what we would have asked for if we knew everything He knew." ~ Timothy Keller
Here is the beauty of coming to a place of rest in prayer...
Prayer positions us to return to a place of dependency and rest. By its very nature, the very act of praying says, "I'm not God." We get to be a creatures, resting in the capable hands of our loving Creator.
I walked down the street yesterday with anxiety wrinkling my brain over something I am dealing right now. I stopped and looked at a tree for a moment. It was sobering. I thought about seeds dying and life coming from death for about a minute. Then I looked up at the sky at a time of day where you could see both the sun and the moon. I thought about our galaxy and how small I was for another minute. I found great hope in remembering that I'm not a product of blind chance and though life can feel like chaos, I'm not a product of chaos - I'm a son of the One who brought cosmos from chaos. Then I prayed and cast all my cares on the One who cares for me.
I'm slow, I know.
Friend: your life is in good hands. God is on the other side of everything you are going through right now, working it out for your salvation and for His glory.
"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." ~ I Peter 5:6-7
Paul is a graduate of Knox Theological Seminary and the founding pastor of KW Redeemer in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. He is an MCO race school graduate, but presently his main hobby is drinking espresso because it's cheaper than fixing cars. Paul and Susan live in Waterloo with their three children.