If you’re like me (hopefully you’re not) then you probably wonder sometimes if prayer makes any difference. There are those days when I feel as though my prayers are just empty words (thoughts) and then there are those days when I can’t even get myself to pray – why bother? The problems of the world just seem too overwhelming and my simple requests for peace; for justice; for equality; seem silly and selfish. Who am I to think (believe?) that God has time to listen to me? And what about those days when I’m not sure God exists? That can’t help my cause(s) – if I’ve just questioned God’s existence only to follow-up with “okay if you do exist; here’s my list of stuff that needs to be your number one priority”. What’s a struggling believer to do?
For me – it’s more prayer. Because I don’t know what else to do. That’s not exactly inspiring is it? And that’s probably because so often I don’t feel particularly inspired. But I pray. And if God does exist then She must have incredible patience. Lately I like to think of God as Maya Angelou or Sister Fidesta (my high school math teacher) – tough but gentle women with hearts of gold. The kind of God that won’t be shocked by my actions (or inactions) and who will take the time to listen (really listen) before showing me the error of my ways.
As I get older I find that I do remember to thank God for all my blessings but still my prayer life seems to be dominated by petitions – “take care of my wife; my kids; grandkids; friends in needs; the sick; the suffering; the dying; etc”. Then there are the (sort of) secondary prayers – “please help me with work; with our finances; with my diet and exercise”. Finally, my prayers often fall into the truly mundane or incredibly ridiculous – “please let the Packers make it to the playoffs or please let my favorite pair of jeans be clean” – God must really love those!
But I believe that God has a sense of humor (which would explain why men have nipples). And God likely laughs at some of my crazy ramblings but still knows my heart and gives me what I truly need. So I keep praying (and questioning) and hoping that my prayers make a difference. Often I do find that my prayers are answered; just not the way I wanted them to be. God knows best. That’s sometimes a tough thing to remember. And I guess that’s something else to pray for – understanding.
My prayer today is that each of you have a wonderful new year and remember to thank God (or at least your lucky stars) for your blessings.
This song speaks to me…