I've been thinking a lot about prayer recently. I probably should tell you right up front that structured prayer has always been the weakest area of my walk with the Lord.
I have loved Jesus since I first gave my heart to Him at age eleven. I actually had very tender feelings for Him even before I got saved, and it was based on the love that I knew through my grandma. You can read that story here. She was a wonderful witness and seed planter to me, and she did that with very few words. She showed Him to me. God used her in a huge way in my life.
That love that I've had for the Lord has grown continually through the years. People who know my story might question me saying this, but God has always dealt so kindly and gently with me. It's huge, now, how much I love Him. I never could have imagined it could be like this. It is a mystery to me how some people who have trusted Jesus don't seem to love Him very much or want to please Him. Makes me sad to think about it. I often think about how the things we do must hurt Him.
I have always had this thing where I've communed with Him in my heart. I'm not sure if others would consider that prayer or just my heart being open to the Holy Spirit and His prompting. I wish I could explain it. God tells me things, often. Things that other people don't seem to hear or see. And I know it's Him. I'm so confident in that that I would consider it a conviction. If you knew how He is with me, then you would know why I love Him so. It's everything from Him, and nothing of me. I am so grateful.
I knew how to get ahold of God. I would take my requests to Him often. I would worship Him and praise Him and love on Him. I told you how I learned how to pray continually in the terror. I knew how to pray like that.
But I would think about Jesus in the garden, praying just before He was betrayed. About how He was on His knees, exceedingly sorrowful unto death. And I would think about the disciples, who could not watch and pray for one hour. Instead, they slept.
I wanted to pray like Jesus. But instead, I always prayed like those disciples. For years I would go to my private time of prayer all alone with list in hand, often on my knees. I knew how to approach the throne of God. But then I would be distracted by my own thoughts. And I would walk away feeling as though I had failed God.
Wait! Isn't that in itself just the most amazing thing ever? That we can go right on up to the throne of God at all? Think of the most famous and important person you know. Bigger than the president or the pope or whatever famous person you may look up to. I can honestly say that there is not anyone that I can think of at this moment that I can use to hold up like that in my own life. No one who I would feel honored to get to meet. I told you I was strange. But for most people, there is someone. So imagine that person.
Think what it would be like if you were to get an invitation that read that at a certain time this afternoon you were requested to come for a meeting with that very famous person. Think of how you would prepare. Think of how you would primp and dress and get ready. Think of the thronging masses of people trying to catch just a glimpse, but they are told to move aside, because you are coming through. You get to march yourself right on up to the front and give that famous person a hug and talk for as long as you want. And it's obvious to everyone that they love you. How special would you feel? That would be the best day of your life, right?
Boy, I think I've taught little kids too long.
But if you multiply that scene by a bazillion, that's us approaching the throne of God. And I can! Praise God, no interceding man needed. Jesus paid it all to cleanse me of all sin, and I can just march on up there like I own the place. It took me a long time to come to this understanding. And don't think I come too lightly. I am in awe of His presence. I'm crying just thinking about that. The God of the universe. To think that He loves me. And receives me. Just as if I'd never sinned. Just as if I were perfect like Jesus. Just as if I...
I can't seem to get there, to tell you about the struggles I used to have with my prayer life. Serious, structured prayer. I'm just not there anymore. Big troubles in this life will do that to you. Teach you to pray. Teach you to fall on your face, literally. Teach you to pray like this.
Even just trying to write about it takes me right into His presence. Not Him with me, here. But me with Him, there. Lots of time between sentences. Time spent weeping on my knees. I wish I could tell you. Maybe someday there will be words for this. But not today.
I know this is probably just rambling to you.
But God has finally taught me to pray. And if you could see me right now, you'd probably think that it's pretty ugly. I'm a hot mess. But this is the most wonderful thing ever. And it's worth everything that I've ever been through to get here.
God has taught me to pray!
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