BY MICHELLE WILLIAMS, GRACE ATTENDER & BLOGGER
I can totally relate to the sermon that Amy Christie delivered over the weekend. There was a time in my life when I felt like I had been out of touch with God for so long that if I’d tried to call Him up, He’d see my name on the caller ID and just not answer. I didn’t feel like I had lived my life in a way that I deserved any of His time or consideration. And the whole time, I had no idea that God had been trying to reach me—except I had my phone on silent apparently.
I didn’t feel worthy. I didn’t know how to pray without seeming like a selfish little child who just wanted something. So I avoided that relationship with God, even though I had this nagging feeling that I was missing something huge in life. But God kept trying to reach me through little nudges, intuitions, signs… He works that way in all of our lives, because He so desperately wants a relationship with all of us. That’s why He gave us Jesus.
Amy pointed us to the book of Hebrews, and explained that Jesus died so that we can boldly enter into the presence of God. Prayer is our direct line of communication with God, but many of us just don’t do it. And Amy outlined a few ideas why that may be the case:
1. I’m too busy
2. I’m not worthy
3. It doesn’t work
The first is a reason that most of us can claim. But when we’re busy and overwhelmed, isn’t that when we need the power of prayer to provide clarity and direction in life? If we don’t make time for prayer, it’s likely that we’ll start to drift. Busy, overwhelmed and drifting is a dangerous combination. Check out Amy’s sermon notes on the Grace Church app to find a great list of practical ways to jump back in with prayer.
If, as I described about my own life, you’re feeling like God may not want to take your call—make your first prayer about telling Him that. Lay it all out. Tell Him how much you want Him in your life. Talk about those feelings. He is that friend who you can call up and it’s like you never even lost touch. He loves you. I think you’ll feel a lot better after a heart to heart. Jesus made each and every one of us worthy of that undeniable love.
The third reason is a little more touchy. Amy talked about a lot of ways that God had shown up for her through her prayers—and sometimes it happens in ways we don’t expect. Just because it’s not the answer we want or expect doesn’t mean that prayer doesn’t work.
I’ve got another personal story about a prayer answered in a way I hadn’t expected. And I’m going to be a little vulnerable here. Almost 5 years ago, I lost my dad when he took his own life. What I honestly wanted to pray was “Just give him back!” All I wanted was to turn back time, talk some sense into my dad, and have my life back the way it was before we lost him. It was so painful, and I was deep, deep, deep in the valley. One evening in the days following my tragedy, I looked up at the stars and asked, “Why did this happen?” I got my answer from God loud and clear. I wasn’t getting my dad back, but I did get a little taste of the kind of peace that only God can provide in the times we’re trudging through that valley. In that moment, I finally understood what it meant to truly trust God. And now, I understand what an inspiration it can be to others when I allow God to work through me. I may not have gotten the answer I wanted to pray for, but I’m not disappointed in the least with where God’s taken me through it.
Give prayer a chance. Listen for the ways that God answers, and be vigilant for the times when He shows up. I can’t say it any clearer than Amy said it: “Let’s enter into the presence of the Holy Spirit and drift no more.”