Do you ever write down your prayers?
I do. Often. My brain likes to go in 15 directions at once, and I find if I write my prayers, it helps keep me focused and not headed down rabbit trails. Other wise my prayers go something like, “Thank you God for my children. I love them so much and I am so glad you picked me to be their mom. Thank you for blessing us with a roof to keep us safe and warm and for good food to eat. Food. I wonder what I should fix for supper tonight. I need to check the pantry. I really need to start thinking about what to fix the rest of the week, too. I will have to check the calendar and see what days we will be home and what days we have places to be. I think we have something going on Friday. When I check my calendar I need to make sure I’m good for going to the office on Tuesday. And remember to text Hannah about that contract. Maybe she sent me an email. I’ll check that in a minute. Oh, I’m sorry, God. Where was I?” Does anyone else do this, or is it just me?
I found myself in such a place on Sunday morning. I had a lot on my mind and in my heart and knew I needed help focusing. So I sat down with my handy dandy notebook and tried to clear my mind. I thought I would share where that went, in case someone else had similar thoughts and feelings.
God. There is so much conflict. Internally. Externally. In the world. In the church. In my soul. Lord, my prayer is that You will show us - show me - what is true and what is important. What are the things You want us - want me - to focus on. God, convict me, and let me stand strong in my convictions, no matter who stands against. Lord, help me be strong and courageous, like Joshua. Keep me on Your path, even when it is hard and I'm discouraged. Fill me with Your glorious presence and guide me in Your ways. Let Your Spirit fill me and shine from me, so that when people see me they will know that I am Yours and You live in me. Give me gentle strength. The strength to stand firm, but be humble. The strength to teach and give grace. To give Your message of love and redemption to all who will listen. To live my life as an example of love, grace, and truth. There is so much we argue about that doesn't matter, and so much we don't acknowledge because it's easier not to. We have gotten comfortable and forgotten we need You. Merciful Father, forgive us for forsaking You in our abundance and comfort. Magnificent Author of all - give me words to help others know You and Your truth and goodness. Bless me with Romans 15:13 - that You, the source of hope, will fill me with joy and peace, and that I will always trust in You. That I will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. And that You will use me to bring others to You so that they will also receive that blessing. Lord, surround me with Your presence, also, in granting me friends who love You and we can support and draw strength from one another. Friends who look to build up, not tear down. That even when things aren't great, they are filled with Your joy and peace, and we can share in that, and commune with Your Spirit in each other to lift one another and draw strength from one another. Father, help me not get frustrated when I feel others don't understand, or aren't where I am. Give me patience and gentleness in dealing with them. Let me know when to push and encourage, and when to give distance, both for their sake and for my own. I know I won't guide others to know You if I am impatient or harsh with them. And not only those who may not know You, but others who our personalities may cause emotional energy to drain in each others' presence. Refill and renew my spirit with Yours in those moments, please. Lord, grant me wisdom. To know what to say and when to say it, and when to keep quiet. What to do and when to do it, and when to step back and let others do and give them encouragement. Help me to remember that my worth is found in and comes from You, not anybody else. That as long as I'm doing what makes You happy, that's all that matters. My faith in You has never faltered, and I pray that it never will. Even when times are hard, I have always trusted in You, that You would be with me. Help me always to remember that. And that even when people fail me, You won't. And when I fail myself, You won't. Not only will You never fail me, but You will be there to pick me back up. Father, thank You for loving me. For giving me the perfect example of love. For sending Your Spirit to guide and strengthen me. Keep me always in Your ways and use me in Your kingdom. Amen.