Have you ever seen the movie War Room? Or read any books on prayer like Stormie Omartian series ‘Power of a praying _______’ (insert wife, husband, parent, women etc etc.) The foundational principle behind all of these resources is this: Prayer. The concept they are trying to convey is this: Prayer WORKS. A lot of people can attest to this, you don’t have to look too far to find stories that support this. Today I want to share a little bit of mine.
I never understood that you could come to God in prayer with the wrong heart and motives. I thought I could send up a little bit here and a little bit there up to heaven and God would answer them. For years, I confess I treated God more like a genie than the king of my life, like the saviour he is. I know I have said this a lot but our families personal struggle is mental illness. The 2 main area’s within that umbrella which are: a type of depression and anxiety. For YEARS I would cry out to God ‘HELP US’ ‘SAVE US FROM THIS.’ The thing was, my heart was not in the right place; my heart was in an unwilling place to change or begin to look inwards at my own issue’s that were affecting the situation. I wasnt getting very far with this type of prayer, and definitely was not getting any miraculous answers from heaven or monumental change.
It wasn’t until our life completely fell apart until I started to learn about prayer and its power and strength. I got to the point where prayer was the only thing that I could turn to, the world and everything it could offered me had failed and I was completely and utterly hopeless. God took me to this place on purpose, he needed me to get there because I was stuck in a worldly mentality and involving God when it was convenient for me. I was not allowing him to have complete control and power in my life. Until then. Until I had nothing left. Until my situation looked so unfixable and unchangeable that I had to start looking at all the aspects of the situation, including myself.
I started reading the book ‘power of a praying wife’ and also watched the movie ‘war room’ at the same time. It gave me the push I needed to start taking prayer seriously, more serious than I ever had and more serious than I ever had seen by anyone in my life (with some prayer warrior exceptions that I did not pay too much attention too prior to this point in my life)
The problem we have is we always use prayer as a last resort, not our first line of defence. I was always using God as my ‘spare tire’ in crisis but never learned that I need to be fighting in prayer first and foremost in any aspect of my life. I started learning that I need to come to God FIRST, not 2nd or any number after that. I started to learn that I cannot change a single person or thing in this world; that any change can only be orchestrated by God and that my only role can be coming to him.Not only did the season of hardship we endured finally end; God orchestrated it to, he walked us to the end of the pain and into the joy.
Since that really traumatizing season of life where I learned the importance and power of prayer, God has to continuously remind me again and again because I seem to like to learn lessons the hard way always in life. I always find myself back into my default mode of trying to all myself first and once I fail, THEN turning to God and prayer. One of the things I am working on is running to him first, before I even allow thoughts of trying to do it myself into my head.
This past week has been a really rough week mentally for both my husband and I…which is really hard to be struggling at the same time. It was hard because our issues were bumping into each other and causing strife between us which was making it harder! I found myself being reminded yet again that not one thing I could try to do to help either of us would be even comparable to how God could work things out. I have learned that praying with others can be so powerful and I had a few close friends of mine fighting in prayer for us. I felt so raw, I felt so hopeless, that nothing was going to change the way I was feeling and I even through many tears cried out to God: I don’t feel you. I need you to hold me here, I don’t feel you in this and I NEED to feel you in this. As I was praying and I felt God (finally) say ‘do you trust me? will you obey me?’ ‘if you do and will, this is what you need to do’ It was simple; bring my husband coffee at work. This sounds simple, but this was 4 days into a very difficult week and I did not FEEL like a) bringing him coffee b) doing something nice for him and c) did NOT think he deserved it. I couldn’t shake the nudge God was giving me so I did it. As I walked up to my husband, I could feel God break ALL the issues that were there for the 4 days prior, in a single swoop. Our hearts were softened, God’s grace was so undeniably clear that both of us were immediately able to put our defences down and let God’s love in. As I look back on the 4 days before, I see how much I tried to control it yet again. I let my feelings and emotions take control over me and take the situation further and further away from God’s light and love. Once I humbly was able to lay myself, my pride, my desire for the situation and allow God to take control, then things could truly start to change.
I think in all honesty and transparency, I have to re-learn this lesson about every 1-2 months. My human sin-nature always tries to pull me back to trying to do it all myself and leaving God out of it. As I strengthen my relationship with him, as I hunger more and become closer to him, as I continue to renounce Satan’s efforts, I come to the place of running to prayer quicker and quicker each time.
So I encourage anyone reading this to ask yourself: what is your prayer life like? Are you praying for your spouse, marriage, children and will for your life on a regular basis? Our world tries to deny the power of prayer and what God can do but I challenge you to try it and do the research for yourself. I can guarantee you that as you reach out to him in prayer, he will meet you there. It may not be the way you expected, wanted or the answer you prayed for BUT it will be the way that is best for you and your well-being and future. Never forget that God see’s the whole picture and we see a narrow focused sliver. We may think we know whats best but trust me when I say; God knows better. If you are praying, keep praying and never stop. If you struggle in this area, I have been there for a long time. I encourage you to be in the bible and read books that help you pray (I personally LOVE Stormie Omartian series ‘Power of a praying wife, husband, parent, women etc etc) As Christians we must never let Satan win the game he is trying to play and allow him to destroy our prayer life. Never give up-Never Stop Praying. And Never forget #thestruggleisreal