When I was a child I was taught to pray before the evening meal and to pray before bed. They were memorized prayers that were always the same. I really didn’t know who I was praying to or why. Looking back, a prayer seemed like a charm that I thought would protect me. I worried that if I didn’t say them, then something bad would happen to me.
As I got older and started to learn about God, my prayers changed from rote charms to requests for things I wanted. In a way, I viewed God as a genie in a bottle. I hoped that if I prayed just the right way, with just the right words, on a day when he just happened to be pleased with me, that he just might give me what I was asking for.
After many years spent trying to find this secret recipe and failing, I reasoned that there must be something really wrong with me. In a way, I was right! There was something wrong with me – my view of God.
Now, I finally understand that God is always pleased with me and he is always working on my behalf. I am finally beginning to grasp that since he loves me unconditionally and is in control of everything, that I can trust him with whatever comes my way. This discovery has drastically changed how I pray.
Now, I know that it is not about performance but about authenticity and trust. Now, I talk to him about everything I’m thinking, feeling, and experiencing. I don’t worry about what I say or how I say it because I finally comprehend that prayer is not about getting God to do something. It is about intimacy. All he wants is for me to lay my heart open before him and trust that he knows what he is doing, and that ultimately, everything will always be okay.
Psalm 115:11… Trust in the Lord. He is your helper and your shield.