Does that sound familiar? There are lots of ways I turn prayer into a personal fix-it session:
- I spend the time thinking through my worries, trying to find solutions
- I turn prayer into self-talk about my fears
- I try and get myself into the right frame of mind before I pray
- I stop praying so I can get on with my to-do list
- I think God won't listen to me unless I get things right first.
Prayer is harder than we think ... To actually stop and pray is contrary to our sense that we must do something - and do it quickly ... Prayer is counterintuitive. It is the opposite of what we would normally think or do.God doesn't just tell us to stop worrying and get on with praying. He reminds us that he is the great Burden Bearer:
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:6-7) ...Prayer isn't about me trying to get my attitudes right, or talking myself out of my worries. It isn't, ultimately, about me at all: it's about God, my Father, the great Burden Bearer.
We are carrying burdens we were never intended to carry alone ...
In an act that could never have been conceived by a human being, the King comes and beseeches us to lay our burden on him. ... He invites us to cast our burdens on him as we would cast burdens on an ox. ...
In one of the amazing paradoxes of the kingdom, when God takes our burdens and takes the position of a servant, he reveals our inability and his sufficiency. As such, he is exalted as the God of the mighty hand.
Prayer is coming to God, just as I am, and talking to him about where I'm at, right now. It's saying to God, "I'm worried, and I can't fix this. Please help me!". It's refusing to try and solve my fears, and giving them to him to carry instead.
I've got a long way to go, but I'm learning to do this. Will you join me?