Confession: I’ve been giving God the silent treatment lately. Not because I’m mad at Him. It’s more because I feel like I don’t know what to say anymore.
The majority of my prayer life has looked like having my list of prayers and finding a formal time each day to sit and give my requests to God. That’s a model of prayer that I was probably taught accidentally. Because I can also recall being taught in depth about prayer being a continual conversation between God and me, to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and about the richness that prayer offers in so many more ways than simply treating God like my vending machine or my special magic genie to grant my wish list.
I’ll also say I haven’t admittedly or consciously had these views of God, but when I look at how I’ve communicated with Him in the past, it seems I’m more than guilty of wanting Him to be my daily Santa Claus. I know this doesn’t fit anymore.
My list has been shortened to one desperate plea for my daughter’s heart and life. And I’m certain that I’ve prayed for that relentlessly since that crushing November afternoon. But I think I’ve had prayer all wrong.
I’ve been treating it like my weekly to-do list, more like God’s weekly to-do list that I get to assign. “So, God, today it’d be great if you finish forming Annie’s heart. And um…if you can find time, it’d also be nice if you widen her aorta just a smidge. And maybe you could start working it out where she’ll come on her own before they want to induce me. I mean, if you think those things would be okay, you know? But I’ll check back with you tomorrow to see how it’s all coming along.” What am I? Target–er Heaven–manager? How embarrassing!
I’m learning that I should be conversing with Him simply to give due credit with my lips and heart to the awesome, powerful, sovereign, loving, in-control, good God that He is. I’m learning to ask that His will be done, because if He really is all those adjectives, then I can trust what He decides to do…and that He’ll do it without my nagging or a follow-up meeting in my office tomorrow at 10am. Eck!
I’m also learning that those whispers in my heart that cry out to Him when my voice feels like it can’t are precious prayers too. Maybe even more authentic than my tidy little list. So I’m seeing that when I say nothin’ at all…He’s still listening.
And it looks like He’s showing me just a few things that I could talk to Him about, even in this waiting room of silence.