Saturday, July 10, 2010
Day 15 - Haiti Mission - Prayer...as simple as Brownies
"But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." ~Luke 5:16
I bake. That's what I do when I'm feeling sad or anxious. Oh, my husband would disagree and tell you that I yell, scream, cry....but left to my own with no one to pour my anguish out on, I bake. I've been known to whip up cookies in the late night just because I'm feeling.....well, lonely. It doesn't solve the feeling, and I'm sure that it is a big contributor to the problems I have with food, but there's something in the smell of cookies baking. Well, anything baking for that matter. I've been known to bake cakes and brownies only to have them sit untouched on my counter for days. It's the smell that fills my house, but not only that, I just enjoy baking and eating the results. Otherwise, I'd just light a candle for goodness sake.
Here's the question....is this a good habit to be in? I would have to say "no" based on my current weight, which is a whole different day's discussion. So do I replace it or eliminate it? How do you go about changing a coping mechanism like that? It's simple....pray.
I think I'm under the impression that my prayer life has to be these long eloquent prayers that sound good outloud in order to do it right. I get embarrassed to pray outloud because I know that my prayers are more like a conversation with an old friend versus all the "thee"s and "thou"s, King James Version type prayers. My prayers tend to take off on their own and I'm praying over things that I didn't even know was on my heart. Of course, I believe that this is how God wants us to pray, very openly and candidly with him. What I have trouble with is the simple prayer. The ones that I should be speaking in the middle of the day. The simple "Thanks God", "be with them Lord", or "I need you God".
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, "pray continually". This has always been a hard verse for me to comprehend. What does that mean? How do you pray continually? What I'm starting to understand better, is that perhaps it means, "be continually ready to pray". Prayer should be our first "go to" in all situations. Loneliness, anxiety, sickness, joy, peace, work, play. Maybe it's more of a Holy Spirit thing. Be open continually to the spirit urging you to pray. Be willing to be interupted by the Holy Spirit and be willing to change your path and take the opportunity that God is giving you to grow in Him. Whether it's an opportunity for personal growth in lonliness, or an opportunity for evangalism and healing of a non-believer in sickness, I need to be ready to hear from God and ready to pray. Even if it's outside my comfort zone, it's something that God is asking me to work on right now at this very point in my life. But he's also asking me to literally, "pray continually". In all situations, good and bad, to pray. Small prayers, easy prayers, simple prayers. He's asking me to stay connected to Him in all that I do, everyday....every minute. This is something that I have been using regularly....CONTINUALLY....since Chris has left. There have been times where I don't know where Chris is, if he's okay, if I'll talk to him soon. I'm left to pray and surrender those feelings to God. It's all part of the process and the growth God is leading me in right now. And it's been wonderful.
So, I admit it.....as I'm typing this, there are brownies in the oven. Are my kids here? Nope. Is my husband still hundreds of miles away? Yep. Am I lonely? Honestly? Not as much as I thought I would be at this point. God has been faithful the past 2 weeks. He has prepared me for this trip for years, and He has prepared me well. I can see that now. I have missed my husband a great deal. My heart has physically ached at times because I just miss his company so much. But I don't feel sad, lonely, anxious, or worried. I just simply miss him. Is that why I made brownies? Nope. I just need them to pack lunches for my kids this week. And that, for me, is a victory over who I've always been into who God wants me to be.