Sometimes I get tired of praying. I’ve made a habit of praying for other people either on my way to work or on my way home — I have a long commute — but sometimes I’d rather not. I always feel better after I do, but sometimes I’d rather listen to music or call someone or just sit. It’s especially hard to pray when I’m tired and need to stay awake. (If I wrecked from falling asleep while praying, could I claim religious reasons?)
There are so many things to pray for, and I do believe there’s power in prayer, but there are days I’d rather talk to God in a different way. Like invite Him on a picnic and hear stories about all those miracles that didn’t make it into the Bible. Or take Him on a road trip and ask Him why mosquitoes get to bite humans or why He didn’t storm down from heaven with thunder and lightning when that kid made fun of me in school. How cool would that be? (Side note: I guess if God and I really did take a road trip, I’d let Him drive. Is there a safer way to travel?)
There are days I’d rather sit across from Him as we munch on hoagies or stroll through the park and discuss weather. I bet He wouldn’t get the forecast wrong. We could even take a boat across the lake and re-enact that walking on water thing. … I wonder if He would wear Bermuda shorts. Is that a disrespectful thought? I don’t know why it would be.
Maybe He could teach me to play the piano in five minutes flat or tell me that 10 years from now, I won’t stress about this or worry about that — that life will be good and my worst fear of hitting a deer on a narrow back road will never be realized.
I know God is with me wherever I go, and I can see Him working in my life, but sometimes my feelings get in the way of those facts and I wish I lived in Jesus’ time when the God of the universe actually walked on earth. When I could have touched His robe or seen for myself whether he kept long or short hair. I’ve always envisioned Him with shoulder-length tresses.
I think one reason I get tired of praying is that my prayers all start to sound the same after a while. I repeat the same words and phrases over and over, things like “strength,” “comfort,” “help,” “guide,” “be with,” “lift up” and — my favorite — “please.”
Manners, you know.
I’ve heard some prayers that just blow me away. They’re deep and meaningful, and you feel like God is sitting next to you when they’re done. I know the way we pray doesn’t make God any more or less present, or make anyone more or less His child, but maybe I should pray to be a better prayer. I guess more for my benefit than anything.
(I do think I’m getting better at talking to Him like a friend and not a bearded cloud-floater, which He isn’t. I’ve taken a cue from some of the Bible’s big names like David and Habakkuk and started telling Him how I really feel … even though He already knows.)
I’ve heard people say that when we feel like God is far away, He could be closer than ever. Those are times that our faith is put to the test and He’s allowing us to grow. My Bible cover also reminds me that sometimes when it looks like we’re walking alone, that’s when He’s carrying us. …
Still, what I wouldn’t give sometimes for a Sunday picnic with the Almighty. (After church, of course.) If you’re ever in the mood for real food again, God, my Dixie plates and Solo cups are ready.