Prayer #1

So I’ve been a little resistant to this prayer thing. I mean, I’ve made some efforts toward the planning side of it. I do that a lot. I make lots of plans and preparations on things I’m going to do but I never get around to actually doing it. It’s like…I buy the new swimsuit, the googles, the swim cap. I look into the best swim classes around town. I put together a calendar of what days of the week I will take classes and then the days I will practice on my own but I never actually get around to jumping in the water. So that’s how this prayer thing has been so far.

On Sunday after church, I went down to the prayer room and asked someone if they would pray with me. I told them my plan, that this year I was going to learn how to pray for things for myself, that I have struggled with doing this for so long. We talked about it for a while and then he prayed for me.

I downloaded a prayer app. It has 4 daily guided prayers: Morning, Midday, Evening, and Late Evening. I’ve done the Morning and Midday prayers for the past 2 days but haven’t gotten to the Evening ones yet.

I’ve looked into books on prayer. I found 2 that I want to order: A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller and Prayer by Timothy Keller. (I love Timothy Keller!)

I’ve written headings in my planner for each day of the week. On Mondays, I’ll prayer for a mate/relationship. On Tuesdays, I will pray for my career change. On Wednesdays, my Son, Sam. On Thursdays, My home. Fridays, my daughter, Sadie. Saturdays, financial issues. Sundays, family and friends.

I’ve prayed once. I mean, I’ve prayed, but only once have I prayed specifically for one of these things – something that I want for myself which is what this whole experiment is about, right? I wrote it down in another prayer journal app that I downloaded. Here is what I wrote

“I pray for a companion. Someone who will care about me, share interests, and that I can have fun with.

Musician, Christian, financially secure, single dad, similar interests, outdoorsy, athletic, wants to travel/adventure.”

Simple. Just putting it out there. Not sure where I would even start to find that but I’m at the starting point, right? It’s January 2nd. Today, I opened Facebook. I rarely look at Facebook anymore. And what was the first post I saw? A posting by a Christian singles group about a hike on Saturday with lunch to follow. Now what is so crazy about this is that I don’t remember ever joining this group. I’ve never seen a post by them before and it is a group you have to join to see their posts. It’s a church I am familiar with but not the church that I go to.

So I’m going to go on the hike on Saturday. Let’s see what happens.

I guess it’s time to jump in the water.

Jesus Gift

It’s Christmas. Jesus’ birthday. So who’s the one who should be getting presents?

Each year, my family picks a gift to give to Jesus. It has to be something that we focus on throughout the year. Some years we are successful at giving it, some years we look back and realize we didn’t really keep to it. But we still do it every year.

This year, collectively, we decided we would read Our Daily Bread each day when we sit down at the dinner table, a nightly devotional with questions we can reflect on. It’s a good way to keep us focused on God each day and discuss our thoughts about our faith.

Personally, though, I have decided on a different gift. I have trouble with prayer. I don’t mind praying for other people. I don’t have a problem talking to God. I do it often. What I do have trouble with is praying for things for myself. I feel selfish if I ask for things. I feel like I should be content with the things that I have and that if I ask for more, I am ungrateful. We teach our kids in preschool, “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.” Right? I think I also feel undeserving. Or maybe I’m scared of how it might change my faith. Like if I pray for things and they don’t come to me, I’ll lose my faith in Him. So this year, I am going to pray for everything. I am going to pray for foolish things. I am going to pray for practical things. I am going to pray for spiritual things and worldly things. I am going to pray in solitude. I am going to pray in church. In the worship service, with my bible study group, and alone up in the prayer tower. (I haven’t seen it yet so it will be a nice introduction.)

I’m going to pray for a mate. I am going to pray for a career change. I am going to pray for a better house, a better body, my children’s spiritual growth, healing in my family, more money, more faith, less stress, less resentment, a bible study group that really excites me, a new best friend. Even writing this gives me a pain in my chest. It’s all about me and the things that I want but that’s the whole point. This year is a study in personal prayer. It’s how I will learn to ask and not feel ashamed for wanting better things in my life. I may not get all of them. I may not get any of them. But this is a journey I have to go on and I’m very anxious about where it will lead me.

The Journey Begins

When my children were younger, I bought necklaces for their grandmothers that had birthstones and charms in a little locket to represent each of the grandkids. At the same time, I bought myself a locket that included 3 charms: a heart, a cross, and a suitcase. These represent the three things I want to give to my children as they grow.

Love. Faith. Adventure.

This blog is an attempt to document the way that I give them these things and maybe in 5, 10, 20 years, I (or they) can look back at this and see how it was done.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton