It’s difficult to know how to pray when it comes to our own lives.
I couldn’t help but pause at the above words when I noticed them penned in the middle of an article I was reading. It’s fairly easy for me to pray for others. I often have names and faces running through my mind throughout the day as I lift petitions to our heavenly Father.
Praying for others is much easier than praying for myself.
I can see from the outside how things are falling into place in the life of another, even when all seems to be falling apart. I can compassionately plead for a broken world or a struggling friend without feeling any bent toward selfishness. But when I add myself into the equation, somehow my prayer formula doesn’t seem to add up so easily.
I struggle with my thoughts, wondering if my desires seem selfish. I wrestle with doubts as to whether my prayers are too narrow-minded or too broad. Too much or too little. Too big or too small. Too, too, too…
While prayers for others can spill from my heart like rivers, loving myself through prayer suddenly becomes a complex battle, a power struggle to release a drop or two of heartfelt need. I’m found overflowing with a series of checks and balances where once it was simply an outpouring of faith and expectancy.
How I “should” pray suddenly competes against the honesty of my own heart.
It’s easy to ask for God’s best for someone else. It’s easy to anticipate Father’s mercy for a friend. But sometimes it’s challenging to ask for God to love away my own hurts, especially when they seem so small in comparison to others. It’s hard to ask Father for tenderness for myself when all I can see are my own failings, my blatant propensity toward weakness when strength is needed. When His strength is needed in me.
Why do I think God might withhold from me what I fully believe He will extend lavishly to others?
Why do I hesitate to ask Him for the same favor I pray He pours upon my loved ones?
Instead of checking and rechecking my motives, I simply want to run to Him. Just as I am — scrapes, bumps, bruises and all. Hastening to have Him save the day yet again, just as He did when a tender baby’s cry split the silence of a star-studded night filled with heavenly choir. Just as He did when a commanding voice spoke the words, “Peace, be still,” and a stormy tempest was calmed. Just as He did when the mercy of salvation swept upon mankind with a final, “It is finished.”
As I come beyond the veil ripped wide open, I long to do so with the assurance of Father’s love not just for the masses, but for this one, floundering heart of mine. To reach out and grasp His love with both desperation and tenacity, convinced it is mine for today and for forever simply because I am His.
Even when I feel far from deserving of the grace He so freely gives.
Even when I have more questions than answers regarding my own heart’s wanderings.
Even when I am prone to pull back instead of rush forward into arms outstretched and waiting, arms strong enough to hold me close and love away every ache of soul weariness within me.
Today I want to approach Father as His beloved, not because of anything I am or am not. But because I am His.
And I belong.
Here in the circle of His unending grace where mercy meets the worst of me and loves me best.
Here where I am honestly and wholly His own.
Here where redemption is complete, and I am completely loved.
Here where He reminds me that He is for me.