We walked the halls of middle school orientation. I could see my daughter making mental lists as they gave examples of how to succeed next year at school. “There are four floors and eight periods and three minutes to get to class, you will learn Latin or Spanish” – on and on I could see her trying to mentally write her list. I saw a worried expression start to form. “Are you ok?” “You know your going to do great, right,” I said. She replied, “Yes, but its a lot.”
As a mother, I wanted to erase her mental list and tell her it would all be fine. Enjoy the moment even, but internally I know that when it comes to important things, I do the same thing she does. Do as I say, not as I do.
Driving to work today I took out my mental list of prayers and started talking to God. As I prayed for each one I would internally check it off. Prayed for friend with cancer screening today = check. Prayed for adoption finances = check. Prayed for calmer spirit = check. Prayed for family = check. Praying for direction = check. And on and on it went.
I was listening to Pandora Bethel Live radio when a song jolted me out of my prayer checklist. Have you heard the song The Voyage by Amanda Cook? You need to. Her words changed by checklist.
“Speak, even if your voice is trembling. Please, you’ve been quiet for so long. Believe, it’ll be worth the risk your taking… What you make of this moment changes everything.”
The Voyage by Amanda Cook
I took a personally test years ago and it showed that when I am stressed out or overwhelmed I tend to make lists of things – even lists far into the future. Its my cooping mechanism. When I am overwhelmed with the burdens on my heart, its easier to write a list and mechanically pray for them, giving myself a high five that I sent my words up to Heaven. Check = done and on to the next thing.
After the jolt, I just broke down my mental prayer list and said, “God, I just need you. You cover it all, my friends, my family, my path.” No more words or requests needed to be voiced, because in the end… He is the maker of answers to anything and no check list can ease my anxiety like He can. No completed check on a paper can compare to God’s perfect timing. No lists in my head can equal God’s goodness, understanding and plan for my life.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Has this prayer challenge been more of a checklist or are you really going to God with your full heart?
- Do you let anxiety about your current and future circumstances dictate how you pray?
I have shared it before, but it needs to be shared again…
“Do you not know, have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.” Isaiah 40:28
What you make of this present moment changes everything and does what no list can accomplish. Don’t make a list – just tell him your heart.
30 day challenge – read more in the “hit repeat again” previous blog…
1. Write down a list of things you need to pray for
- This is not a wish list
- Try not to just make them all about you
- Keep the list small and purposeful
2. Spend at least 30 minutes in uninterrupted prayer
- A scheduled time not just throughout the day
- Ideas: 30 minute drive to work, actually getting up early, skipping a tv show, praying before bed
3. Read at least one scripture passage a day
- Pick a book of the Bible and read a passage each day
- Follow our blog for daily scripture
4. And if you fail one day out of 30 –HIT REPEAT AGAIN!