Prayer can be a hard thing to do. After all, you’re seeking a connection with someone you can’t see, someone who doesn’t physically speak out loud, and someone you may not see until the end of time. Prayer sometimes feels as though you’re speaking words that bounce back against the walls of your bedroom and your tears are getting lost in the fibers of your pillowcase.
Nonetheless, I do pray. Many people consider me to be a “prayer warrior,” but I don’t know if I would go that far. When I think of a prayer warrior, I think of my That Moma, who religiously spends an ample amount of time in her “War Room” (which is just an extra bedroom in her home that she turned into a haven for prayer and meditation) every single day. This woman is the epitome of grace, love, and a selfless servant of Christ. There’s no doubt in my mind that she has shaped me into the young woman I am today because every day, she always reminds me that whatever I’m going through has already passed through His hands. In fact, she recently told me, “He’s holding you with His righteous right hand, and He’s not going to let go.”
I’ve learned through my spiritual journey that it is so easy to pray to God when everything in life seems great. But what about when life knocks you down, when people make you feel worthless, and you don’t understand why things happen the way they do? Prayer gets a little harder in these situations. However, I have learned that this is when faith comes into play.
Because we cannot physically see God, we must have faith to know He is there. There’s also a little mystery behind this because how does one know that God is listening? And when we pray, how can we be so sure that God is answering our prayers? What if He answers them, but they aren’t in our favor? Often times, that’s how God works. He sometimes doesn’t give us what we want because He has just what we need — and it’s always better than what we could ever ask or imagine.
But why do I pray? Why do I choose to have an intimate and spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ? Why do I communicate with someone I cannot see nor physically hear?
A lot of people ask me these questions. A lot of people ask me why I live the way that I do.
Why I wake up every morning and put a smile on my face. Why I stay so positive even when my life is crumbling. Why I choose joy even in the midst of the most uncertain and unforeseen circumstances.
My answer to them is simple: Jesus. It’s not an easy choice to make every day, but it’s been the best decision I could ever make. I face the same struggles as anyone else does on any given day. My alarm makes the same annoying sound as the next person’s, and I groan. I snooze it once (or four or five times). Nonetheless, I roll out of bed, lace up my shoes, put some clothes on, and head outside. I soak in the beauty of a new day and feel the rays of the sun and the blowing of the wind on my face. Spending my first moments of each day meditating and simply listening to the sounds of nature have always been so peaceful to me. Seeing the sunrise reminds me that I have crossed another barrier and have another opportunity to make a difference.
During these quiet moments, I pray. I start out by thanking the Lord for another day of life and another chance to live in light of what He has done. I also ask Him to control my thoughts and give me peace regardless of my circumstances. Even though I cannot physically hear Him, I feel Him give me energy. I sense an overwhelming peace take over my body, and sometimes, I get so overwhelmed with His presence that I cannot help but grin from ear-to-ear. In these moments, I know that God is with me.
Even on my very worst days, I still pray. I won’t say it’s necessarily my favorite thing to do, because sometimes I feel like simply giving up. But, as a follower of Christ, I know that when I communicate with Him, He reminds me that what I am going through is nothing in light of eternity. When I pray to Him, everything is put into perspective for me. I pray, “Lord, I want Your will in my life, whatever that may be; and help me to accept Your will.” When He doesn’t always give me what I want, I realize I am asking Him to replace Himself with something I consider more important — and nothing is ever more important than Him. So sometimes, He gives me what I want, and I face the consequences of substituting things for Him. In the end, I realize that what I need most is Jesus, and if I delight myself in Him, He will give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4).