A Garden of Prayer

Prayer is like a garden.  Tend it and it will be fruitful. 
Elizabeth Marchman Flower #33
Elf Help Book, Prayer Therapy by Keith McClellan

And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested. ~ I Chronicles 4:10 nkjv

My prayer life is inconsistent.  I wish it weren’t and deep down I know that I am the only one who can change it.  I know it takes discipline to make time for God everyday.  It is not that I do not want to, I just find it incredibly difficult to drown out the daily noise.  I wish I could blame it on some disorder – not that I want one because I have my share of issues – I just want an explanation.  I need an answer so I can solve the problem.  

Now the Nike commercial is running through my head…Just Do It!  If I could have my own motto every time I get distracted – Just Pray!  I envy the Prayer Warriors who can drop everything, drown out the noise and just pray without distraction.  I know at some point they must have had to develop the discipline to listen to God.  I know it is also a gift bestowed to them by God.  I know it is not my gift.  I am okay with this.  God has given me other gifts.

If only I tended my praying time like I tend my garden, it would be fruitful.  There are things I know about prayer.  I know the prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with (James 5:17).  I know that if I cry to the Lord with my voice, He will hear me from His Holy Hill (Psalm 3:4).  I know to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication to let my requests be made known to God and that His peace which surpasses all understanding will guard my heart and mind through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7). I know that the prayer of faith can heal the sick (James 5:15).  I know I am to pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17) and that the Spirit will help me in my weakness even though I do not know what to pray, that He will intercede with groans that words can not express (Romans 8:26).

If only my mind wasn’t tempted to wander.  If only my body didn’t follow.  If only it wasn’t distracted by a to do list the moment I awaken.  

If only I prayed to God to help me with my prayer life.  But can I be honest?  I am afraid of what trial might be laid at my feet to get me on my knees and focused in prayer.  I think I am more afraid though of what I might be missing by not asking.  I look at the Prayer of Jabez.  He simply asked to be blessed.  And look what happened to him.  I think sometimes I am asking in prayer for the wrong things.  Maybe I just need to ask God to bless me, bless my writing, bless the words of my blog to reach out into cyberspace and that maybe they will bless someone else because He wants it to.  But there is a voice that rises up and says, “What if that is not what God wants?” and my faith cowers like a scared child in the midnight darkness.

Today my faith is small, smaller than a mustard seed it feels, and my mind is already beginning to wander….

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