Monday, 28 September 2009
For 10 years I lived alone. It got to the point where my house was deathly silent and I was okay with it. I didn't fill the void with needless noise. Over that period, I started internalize my prayer time. It was an hour drive to work, almost regardless of which store I was working at, and so I would use the time to address prayer matters -- just set my day before the Lord and thanked him for his bountiful graces. Well, after extended periods of time habits become your nature and soon all my prayers were silent addresses to the Holy one. And soon thereafter, I started praying wherever I was, whenever I knew there was need, just between God and myself. Home, work, play, church --- there was no place where I haven't prayed at some point.
Well, something else started forming during that time. Something I will merely label "Trust". In trusting that God had an answer, I started praying about matters only once. I had faith / confidence that God heard my prayer, knew what was best, and that it was best to leave it to his care. This didn't happen overnight, and it was never something I talked openly about. Kai (my wife) is the only person who knows these two matters about me, and it honestly frustrates her.
You see, Kai craves prayer time with me. She is right to; I am her husband and my responsibility is to her and to our family's spiritual growth. But ten years worth of habits and character building are hard to undo. Most of the time I find myself praying silently and praying about something only once. It's not something she's ready to follow me on.
I never questioned my prayer life before, never had need to. I knew it was different --- I have heard time and time again people praying for the same matter, as though the Lord has not heard or did not care to answer. Often I have wondered if what they really want is not what the Lord thinks is best but what THEY think is best and they press forward towards that aim in prayer. That's a topic for another post I suppose. I knew my manners of prayer were different and I didn't preach them to others. I kept them hidden in my own prayer closet as it were and I never tried to judge a person for their prayers. Each person stands or falls independently before God, so who am I to question your manner of reaching out to Him?
I know there are passages in Scripture about prayer, Jesus' teaching in Luke 18 tells of the widow who through persistent badgering finally wins over the judge so as to hear her case. James talks about the effectual FERVENT prayer of a righteous man. Likewise, Paul urges us to pray in all things, and in everything give thanks. Thus I know that there is something to be said about persistence and consistency to our prayer lives, yet here I am praying about things once, and leaving them in the hands of God as it were.
Am I wrong?
Because of Kai, I now question my approach to things, not because I doubt but because I never expected the need to change and now that there is a need to change, I find myself content with where things are. I pray when I need to. I ask the Father to deal with things according to His perfect will, and thank him for answers yet to come. It's worked wonderfully over the years --- I've seen marvelous answers come, merely by leaving things to his care.
So today I open myself up for critique. I also open myself up to several of you thinking "but I thought you said you were "pray-ING" for me"... thinking that I had covered a matter over and over until some answer had arrived. I prayed, and knew an answer would come, as it always did.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, what are your thoughts? What are your own prayer lives like? Does anyone else out there follow the same path of praying once and letting it go?