This blog post by Beth Moore really got me.
I will do just about anything or everything else before I will pray. That is one of the ugliest confessions about myself, but it’s true.
I can do and live and function in every other arena of life and wear a partial (or full) mask – but not when it comes to prayer. I cannot fake prayer, and that is good and also terrifying. I guess that is why I can (and do) immerse myself in other tasks or distractions and even in Bible reading and study before prayer.
And yet, I have been living for years with the God-given revelation that some areas of my life, some areas of my mind, some areas of ME will NOT change unless they are bathed in prayer.
And yet I’m still inconsistent and reluctant in prayer.
What’s wrong with me?
And I feel extreme guilt.
And then when I do pray, I can’t just “pick up where I left off” because where I left off might have been 12 days ago (shocking, terrible, I know!) so then my prayer (I feel like) has to have this long preamble just to catch up to where I am in that very moment when I yielded myself to the Holy Spirit’s nudging to prayer.
The times when I seem to give-in without delay and yield to an unction to pray is when I feel either completely overwhelmed or on the verge of dispair.
I am too independant.
I shoulder my burdens most of the time all by myself and that shouldn’t be so.
Oh, I go through seasons where my prayer life is much more consistent – but I can’t recall a time where a season lasted longer than a month.
The pattern seems to be that I fall away from prayer when I know I have unconfessed / unrepented sin in my life / heart — or (even more grotesque honesty), I’m not ready to turn away from that sin, so I have the guilt of the sin, then the guilt over not wanting to be rid of the sin and then the guilt about not praying about either of those problems.
And I usually try to end my posts on some sort of a final note. I don’t have one to offer of my own words because clearly I’m struggling and deficient in this area, but this came to mind:
“Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.” ~ Hebrews 4:16 HCSB