Post By: Angela Parlin
It doesn’t sound super spiritual, but you guys–prayer is hard.
Stillness is hard. Hard stops in a busy life are hard.
Do you agree? Tell me it isn’t just me.
In early January, I thought I had picked a word for the year. But instead, God led me to focus on prayer, and not to only toss Him my cares and needs.
I needed to grow in prayer as worship. To take my sin seriously and regularly confess it. To sit in the silence and listen for His whispers.
So I set out to spend time away from the world each day in prayer, to learn to pray without multitasking.
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek. Psalm 27:8, NIV
Sometimes, my prayer life was amazing. I was learning so much about God. But the truth? It wasn’t all glitter and rainbows, and I didn’t always show up.
Sometimes I really struggled to sit still before the Lord.
When I got caught up in so much busyness, concentrated prayer was the first thing I let go of. I put it off for later, and another day went by.
At the same time, I enjoyed mountaintop views this year, and they were unbelievable. But there were also valleys.
The mountaintop often didn’t appear when I was on my best behavior. It didn’t show up when I was the most faithful, or the most consistent.
Instead, I’d come to this place with hard corners in my heart, with a terrible attitude, having been away from Him for days. Even my kids could tell the difference. I’d be having one of those weeks when I didn’t like myself very much.
Having fallen out of prayer, I’d fall on my knees again.
And just when I knew I was a mess and didn’t deserve it, I’d see that view again. He’d bring me around to the mountaintop. He’d fill me with His grace and lift me up.
Then I’d walk around the house, humming “Love Lifted Me.” Knowing Love lifts us once for eternal salvation and continues to lift us every time we fall, whether in ways that measure large or small.
Sometimes in this world, we’re sinking in sins and distractions. Love is always near to lift us, when we come back to Him.
Jesus doesn’t stand there, pointing His finger and saying, You know better. You should be more consistent. You should be more… He doesn’t call us those names that float around our heads.
Jesus stays near. His arms are open wide. Whether it’s been a week or 20 years, His desire is that we seek Him. That we come and talk with Him.
He didn’t come to rescue us because we’d be star performers or at least consistent.
He didn’t save us because we earned it.
He saved us because He is Love and He longs to lift us.
And He’s already everything we’re not.
Jesus is an unending welcome-back, a Love who lifts us up again.
May we settle in before the Lord this year. May we worship Him and know Him more and let His kindness to change the course of our days.
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.” Psalm 27:8, NLT
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Angela Parlin is Dan’s wife and Mom to 3 rowdy boys and 1 sweet girl. In addition to spending time with friends and family, she loves to read and write, spend days at the beach, watch romantic comedies, and organize closets. But most of all, she loves Jesus and writes to call attention to the beauty of life in Christ, even when that life collaborates with chaos. Join her each week at www.angelaparlin.com, So Much Beauty in All This Chaos.