DiscipleshipLeadership

Prayer for the Overwhelmed

By May 25, 2016June 16th, 2016No Comments
Sandy Sparks, who is on the BOW board, is our guest blogger today. Although her perspective is from a small church volunteer leading a ministry, her points apply to both ministry roles and everyday life.
Do you ever find yourself in over your head– responsible for something and yet you have no idea how to begin, let alone accomplish it?  That pretty well describes my state of mind several years ago when I was asked to lead women’s ministry at our small church. 
 
In hindsight, it was a wonderful growing opportunity, but at the time, I felt like I was running downhill with a very large boulder close behind rolling after me.  My prayers were frantic pleas for help with whatever urgent need was at hand.  God was very gracious, and the failure I was so afraid of did not happen.  In fact, as I look back on that time, I am amazed that God allowed me to have such a great opportunity, but if I am honest, during the process I was seldom at peace.
 
God’s  answers to my prayers during that time were many and always encouraged me.  So why didn’t I spend more time in prayer and less time fretting?  I can think of a few reasons– a lack of spiritual maturity and also I didn’t think I had the time.  Now that is really funny if you think about it– I was too busy doing God’s work to spend time with Him in prayer.  Praying was also turning control over to God– another funny thought since, of course, He had control all the time.  All I had was the illusion of control.  Sometimes when I prayed, especially prayers seeking direction, God was silent.  That was the hardest of all for me.  I’m not good at waiting for most things including God’s timing.
 
I don’t think I am alone in these struggles.  It’s more like these are part of the things we experience as we mature and come closer to God.
 
If prayer is sometimes hard for you, and the words won’t come, here are a few things that have worked for me:
  • Go to Psalms and read them back to God.  He knows what you need before you ask, but He really wants you to come to Him.
  • Write out your prayers if it is a very confusing time.  For me there is something about putting words on paper that brings a deeper honesty and quiets my heart.
  • Keep track of God’s answers.  He loves to do the impossible so that we know it was Him.
  • Ask for prayer from Christian friends.  Details are not needed if the request is deeply personal.
  • Never be hesitant to pray because you don’t know the “church words” to use.  Prayer is simply talking to God and listening for His response.  If you don’t hear Him right away, don’t quit, just trust He has heard and will make His will known in His time.
I’m still learning about prayer and still trying to put into practice what I’ve learned. Wanting a deep prayer life is only the beginning.  It takes time and discipline.  The busier my life is, the more time I need to spend in prayer.

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