It’s no mistake that I found my old prayer box when going through my childhood bedroom last week. The little wooden box– a memento from my dad’s earlier mission trip to Honduras– was jam packed with the hopes and fears of a 12-14-year-old girl.
Many of the scribbled prayers brought tears to my throat, reminding me that God had been working in my heart long before I felt led to declare “prayer” as my growth theme for 2018.
My heart ached as my own handwriting reminded me of the lonely and insecure girl I had been during those years. Almost all of the prayers were about one of three things: loneliness, running, or a desire to love Jesus more.
And I’d like to think that those little seeds of faith, as frivolous as some of them were (as evidenced below), paved the way for this past year of discovery.
See, I entered 2018 with the terrible realization that I’d grown cynical about prayer. I questioned if I’d ever understood the concept in the first place. I was fine with praising God, but I rarely dared to genuinely ask God for anything. That would require me to fully rely on Him, to let Him in.
But God knew exactly what He was doing when He told me to focus on prayer in 2018. He knew that my heart was longing for a deeper connection and a route to surrender. Prayer.
With time, I began learning how to lay it all down, to wrestle with God, to be real with Him. I learned that the ultimate healing for loneliness and fear wasn’t adding friends, but allowing my best friend and my God to enter into my brokenness.
Most importantly: I began learning to listen. And as I did, the Lord started revealing the beauty of prayer in a way I hadn’t understood before.
Prayer is not reciting empty words of thanks or halfheartedly requesting God’s intervention in our worldly affairs. Prayer is the earnest communication between creation and Creator. It’s how we talk to our Daddy!
Sometimes my communication with God resembles that of a moody teenager; but we’re talking more than ever before. And in the moments of reverberating silence, I’m not afraid anymore. My heart can rest.
Two thousand nineteen isn’t the year I forget everything I’ve just learned–all the moments of communion between my Savior and I. But it is going to be a year of further pursuing what He has revealed this past year. Stay tuned, as I plan to explain my word for 2019 in a post later this week.
I hope you are excited as you anticipate the coming year. Friend, God is already there and He has good things in store, the chief of which is Himself. May that be your heart’s desire in 2019.
3 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned About Prayer This Year”
I absolutely love this. Prayer is something that I definitely need to work on this year.
Thanks Mack! The cool thing is that God gives us grace to keep learning and growing. Praying that you experience greater intimacy in prayer this coming year!