Relational Prayer 5/19/20

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8

A staff member at a recent all-staff meeting at work described this Corona season like this – “we’re all in the same storm, but we’re not necessarily all in the same boat.” I loved this description because while we’ve all been affected by this pandemic in some way, that doesn’t mean we’re all are experiencing it the same way. We all have different situations, challenges, and unexpected blessings during this time. And many of us find ourselves with a wide range of emotions from “I cannot sleep I am so anxious” to “this is the greatest gift look how much time I get to do _________ and spend time with _________ ” to “God where the actual heck are you right now” – if you’re like me you might feel all of these even within the same moment.

No matter where you might find yourself this season of life, I think that sharing with God where we are matters. I want to share a quick tool with you that I was taught in college that has changed the way that I begin my time of prayer. It goes like this –

God today if feel _____, because of _____.

This may seem super simple, and you’re like really that’s it? But I’ve often found in my own life that I struggle to:

  • Name my emotions in the moment
  • Identify why I feel the way I feel
  • Share them with God.

I’ve found that this practice has really helped me to understand and communicate how I’m doing with my deepest most important partner – Jesus, instead of letting it all pile up and control the way I interact with others, make decisions, and live my life. Here’s some examples of ways I’ve done it this week:

  • God today I feel lonely, sad, and isolated because I cannot be with my friends in person.
  • God today I feel insecure, worthless, and like a failure because I dropped the ball at work.
  • God today I feel hopeful and joyful because of a great conversation with my family.
  • God today I feel anxious, grief, and overwhelmed because all the plans I made for the next few months have changed.

The intention of beginning prayer like this is not to necessarily “fix” or change how I’m feeling, or even to spend the next five hours praying with God about it – although sometimes that’s helpful – but to build a deep, authentic, and personal relationship with God where you really do “cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (1 Peter 1:7). Sharing with God the most vulnerable part of yourself and sitting with Him in that builds intimacy and vulnerability with Him.

I encourage you to try it this week, and what a better season to do so when you likely have a lot of different, heavy emotions to express! If you’re like me and naming your emotions from the get-go is difficult, there’s a list of emotions below that I’ve found helpful in getting started. My hope and my prayer is that you would take God up on His offer to walk with us amidst the highs and the lows we might experience and to jump into an authentic and real relationship with Him this season.

Source: Visualizing Mental Health