It is easy to pray when we have an unburdened heart. The words flow easily when we already have some peace about us. But what happens when we are burdened, stressed and stretched to our limits. What happens when we are thinking, “oh no, I’ve gone and done it again” or “why does this keep happening to me”?
Grief, anxiety, fear, depression; these can all put us in a state of paralysis, so to speak. We get to where we can hardly function and having the presence of mind to be able to kneel down and pray sometimes eludes us. These times are when we need the peace that prayer can bring us, even though we may have crawled up with our pain and distress and felt like giving up.
God is always with us. Even so, I find it helps me to really get into a certain frame of mind to have something physical to hang on to. Maybe it is your family bible or cross. For me it is my rosary. Upon converting to Catholicism, the rosary took a special place within me. It offered comfort during the loss of loved ones and hope when used as a form of penance. Just the feel of a rosary in my hands can be soothing. If you need something tactile to bring your mind back into that state of calm where you can pray, then find something similar that brings those feelings to you.
Go to that quiet place where you can think. I get outside. I look at the sky, the trees, the moon. God made all of it; and a gentle breeze or the rustle of leaves in the wind can be very calming. Nature just “is”. It is that whole circle of life thing. Trees struggle for light, ground and water; just as all nature struggles. But it is a struggle unlike what we put on ourselves. A tree just grows and does what a tree does.
Human beings are much more complex and complicated than trees and rocks, but we tend to grow and do what we do while creating extra drama for ourselves. We allow sin, pride, harsh words and all manner of wrong-thinking and wrong-doing to make our way more difficult.
Through prayer I have been able to make some of that self-inflicted pain go away. I have felt the calm that comes over me when I can sit down and give my problems to God; fully expecting him to bring solutions into my life and place me where he wants me to be. Give Him your confidence and trust and that peace can come even when turmoil is all around you. Prayer can become your calm in the storm.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Day 86 – Focusing In On What’s Important Leaves More Room For Expanding Your Relationships