The strangest thing happened to me today. Twice.
First, a friend called me asking for prayer. No one ever calls me wanting prayer. Then, about an hour later, another friend texted wanting prayer. Texting is more like it. Short, sweet, easier to ask and easier for the receiver to not commit to.
But I have this thing about prayer requests and commitments to pray. If I say I will, I will.
So, after praying for my friends, I honestly chuckled and looked towards the heavens and asked, "Is this your way of getting my attention? Get me busy praying for others...so that I will ultimately begin praying for myself?"
I have openly admitted to just about every small group and Bible study that I've ever been a part of that I am not a prayer warrior. I've never been one to go through her entire day in a constant state of prayer, but I was once much better than I am now. I pray with my family at dinner and at bedtime most nights - but often those bedtime prayers wind up being my personal daily closing prayer too. I used to pray with the kids on the way to school every day, but I don't drive Zach to school anymore so we're out of that habit. And I used to pray in the shower every day...and I still shower, but I almost never use that time to pray anymore. I used to pray out loud whenever I was in the car without kids, but now I just drive in silence or make a phone call. I have (almost) totally lost my prayer life!
And I've always been quite terrible at praying for myself. It almost feels selfish. I can ask for "clear direction", "His peace", or "to be used", but I never really lay out for God what I want. I wonder if that's the root of my silence.
As I try to recall the last time I felt I had a rich prayer life, I think it would be around the time that I found out that my birth father was dead. And my grandparents wouldn't respond to my letters. And my half-brother is still unidentified. And then Bryan lost his job... And then life just continued happening, and perhaps it's not all going my way and I don't really want to talk about it.
Phew. Talk about a woman needing a therapy session. Or, better yet, a meeting with the great I Am.
As I prayed for my sweet friends today, I felt God nudging me, looking at me sideways with a gentle smirk on his face, asking me why I don't come to Him with my own heart's desires, excitement, hopes, heartache, confusion and difficulty.
Honestly, in all the busyness of life, I could feel the disconnect in my heart, but couldn't pinpoint what was off. How could I have stepped so far away...gone so long between meetings...without realizing just how much time had passed and what I was missing?
I'm grateful for my friends who prompted me to pray today and helped to remind me of what I've been missing. And I'm forever grateful for those who know me well, who know my heart, who pray for me...even when I don't ask for it and forget to pray for myself.
Beginning now...I pray that I get better - and more vulnerable - at this whole prayer thing.