As I was coming into my parents house today I noticed the exact book where the final prayer of my last post came from. The coincidence of seeing it made me stop to take a second look; yes, it was the same book. I then found myself in deep thought about what prayer is.
In conjunction with other things for Lent, I have made a commitment to God and myself to take prayer and redefine its bases. Meaning I want to learn how to pray boldly, without decree, or obligation. I want prayer to come from the depths of my soul, with the understanding of how God intends to be spoken with.
Reflecting back on my life and examining how I prayed and why is cumbersome. The amount of ritualistic, or rather, scripting, of what was expected or considered the proper way, has since turned out to be the complete opposite.
Think of it like this. Would you say the exact same thing everyday to your spouse or friend? Does a relationship ever grow in depth if only spoken in a way that checks the box?
I've since learned, and continuing to do so, that prayer is an instrument that speaks a melody of thoughts, desires, and gratitude. It is a way of being near to the One who gives life.
When asking the Lord our God to bless my food, have I retained a memorized script that is overused and outdone? Or do I bow my head to the full plate before me and give great recognition of where it originally came from, and the hands that labored it? Do I profusely thank God for the very fact that my plate is full, while then praying for those whose is empty?
In recent times past when I first began to make real effort for prayer, I began to recognize an evil trend that left me embarrassed and ashamed. God wants all of me, which requires me to empty out myself of me. And yet looking back while trying to give Him me, all of my communication towards Him (prayer) was about me! While I certainly checked the boxes of giving thanks for my day, family, friends, good health, est. It typically ended there. There was no thanks or gratitude for Him sending his son to die on my behalf. I never humbled myself low to bring Him high. I never prayed to simply exalt the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. It was all about me and how God was going to bless and help me!
And as I write these very things I poor out my repentance of sin. The sin that brought my God down to a human level. For somehow thinking that I was entitled to ask for things from a Superior Being that had already given me everything.
I am ashamed and yet joy-filled. Ashamed at what I was, and joy-filled at where I have since been brought and the forgiveness that has been given.
You are Yahweh, and I pray to be brought low.
Low to give You great height.
The height and glorification You deserve.
Daily I will meet You wherever I am. Praying boldly to grow roots deep in You.
Let my thoughts and words glorify Your name, and please bring to surface the areas in my life that do not.
May Your light engulf all darkness in my heart.