How to Find Prayer Again, or realize God has already found you (A guest post at margaretfeinberg.com)
Yes, I told you I’m taking a break! I still mean it. : )
But first, I’m over at Margaret Feinberg’s site today helping kick off her summer series on prayer. And we’re giving away three copies of my book! Here’s a little peek from the post. I’d love for you to find your way over there and enter the drawing, especially if you haven’t gotten a copy of Found yet.
As a girl, I learned to thrive in my church culture. I was sweet, a hard worker, the sort of second grader the grown-ups asked to pray out loud. I was the kid who racked up the most gold stars on the class chart.
I knew the rules for pleasing God.
And though I would never have admitted it, as an adult I lived by the same rules. God was the Ultimate Grown Up and I longed for the assurance that God really loved me, that God was proud of me. Despite my belief in grace, I convinced myself that I could earn a spot among God’s favorites.
Though much of my life of faith was “impressive” (I went into full-time ministry and was a natural leader), I always struggled to pray. I knew what prayer was supposed to look like but I could never seem to live up to my own rules. I’d fall asleep or fail to make it through my gigantic lists of prayer requests. I’d sit before God and struggle to know what to say. I pushed myself to do better.
My time in prayer felt as frantic as the rest of my life.
Most of us reach a point when our ability to achieve collapses underneath the weight of our own frailties. I had a baby and suddenly the lack of sleep and demands of my child undid my ability to strive. The demands of motherhood didn’t crush my wobbly faith; it simply revealed how performance-driven my faith had always been.
I couldn’t try to make God like me any longer. I was exhausted.