I sometimes wonder how people survive without prayer. I couldn’t make it through a single day, much less a lifetime, without prayer. For me, praying is almost like breathing.
I’m not saying that because I want you to think I am acing the Christian life. I’m not. I have to pray simply to survive and stay sane! Without prayer, I have no peace in my life.
But I do have to admit that praying is not always my first response to the difficulties that inevitably come up in life. In fact, I have a problem with panicking. A pretty big problem. Any number of things can throw me into a cycle of worry and anxiety, and I panic instead of praying. Especially as a mom who worries about my kids, I could easily be in a constant state of panic!
Most of my worries follow a little pattern that can spiral out of control without me even noticing. It springs up as a little pang of fear; it then picks up speed, swirling into worry around my brain; next it spins me downward in a funnel of anxiety, till I bottom out in a puddle of panic. When I land, I am a mess!
Depleted. Confused. Afraid.
This circle of fear, worry, anxiety, panic is something I want out of! And oh, I have tried. When the cycle starts, I have tried to just handle it myself. I have fretted about how I can fix the situation. I have come up with solution options. I have called my friends and bounced all of my ideas off of them. I’ve analyzed their answers. And I have taken action based on what I thought was the best response to the problem.
But guess what? That wasn’t the answer. All that did was create additional pressure because I had to fix everything myself! But as every human does, I failed. And when I failed, I would be thrown right back into my cycle of panic.
You know what the answer is? Look up! Focus on something much bigger and higher than anything you have going on—God. He is bigger than my child’s sickness, bigger than my flooded house, bigger than my heart surgeries, bigger than my adoptions, bigger than all of my problems.
In looking up to Him in prayer, I remember that there is nothing I am experiencing that hasn’t been experienced a million times before. This is life. And once I look up, I usually find that I have climbed high enough to look down on my situation rationally, even calmly.
When I pray, panic gives way to peace.
I was encouraged and inspired in my prayer life last fall when shown an advanced screening of the movie War Room (which will be in theaters tomorrow!). The power of prayer is so clear in this movie. I was reminded to “pray without ceasing.” To be a prayer warrior for my family. To pray fervently for God’s will on earth. To keep a record of my prayers so I can testify to others of God’s goodness. To cast all of my anxiety, panic, fear, worry, doubt, EVERYTHING on Him…because He cares.
I really don’t know what my life would look like without prayer. And you know what? I hope I never find out!
If you are a prayer warrior share your story of how you learned to pray and how you made it a part of your life.