I lost my passion to pray.
I quit spending time pouring my heart out to God.
And all I heard was silence.
You could hear a pin drop.
The silence was more than I could handle. Instead of drawing closer to God and letting Him grow my faith, I drew away from Him and let the enemy drown my faith in doubt.
It all started (or perhaps ended) with a prayer I prayed for years. I prayed God would answer and give me the desires of my heart and I believed, with all of my heart, He would.
I remember prayerfully surrendering my dreams, telling God He could have them because I trusted Him and His will…Please note this is a good thing when it’s done with the right heart.
However, as I began to grow tired of the silence and I allowed God to show me the heart behind my dream sacrifice, I found the truth.
I surrendered my dream thinking it would placate my God and please Him enough to grant my wish.
My godly surrender was a poorly concealed bribe.
Because in my mind I thought surely, if I gave up my dream, God would give it back.
There’s a lot wrong with this theology, I know, but there was even more wrong with my heart.
I wanted God to be a genie in a bottle. I wanted Him to change His dreams to match my dreams. I didn’t truly want to sacrifice my dreams for His much better ones. And I suffered because of it.
I wrangled with doubt about whether or not God truly answers prayers because I refused to see all the ways He was answering mine. I accused myself of not having enough faith, telling myself if I just believed more, or prayed more He would grant my wish. I struggled with discontent because all I could see was what He was doing in the lives of others. I couldn’t see what He was doing in my own life because I wasn’t brave enough to admit the only issue with my life was me.
You see, when we somehow hinge God’s work upon our performance or our ‘goodness’, we cheapen it. We put it inside the box of our finite understanding and take it from the infinite control of the God who created the universe. We think because we cannot understand what He is doing , surely what He is doing cannot be good. And we try to attribute to God a dark side that He does not possess.
Y’all. THERE IS NO DARKNESS IN GOD. NONE.
Not even a little bit.
And ANYTHING in my life that assigns this attribute to Him is fraudulent. It must be eradicated because if it is not, it will tarnish my faith and silence my prayers.
This is how I lost my passion for prayer.
It wasn’t that I stopped praying altogether. I just stopped praying big. I stopped praying often. I stopped praying like my life depended upon it.
And I wondered what was wrong with God.
Isn’t it so like us to place the blame elsewhere, but so like God to give us a mirror to see the errors in our thinking?
He used a few people close to me and a few good books (Fervent by Priscilla Shirer, Prayer Warrior by Stormie Omartian, and The Holy Bible) to speak His truth into my heart.
You see, as I spend time with God and allow His word to work in my heart, I can see where what I do doesn’t match up with what He says.
When His word tells me to rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give thanks in all things because this is His will for me, then that is what I need to do.
But how do I do this when my heart is broken and my prayers feel like they are bouncing off the clouds?
I pray anyway. I give thanks for the many blessings in my life. And I REJOICE because God is good.
And because He is light and in Him there is no darkness.
These past several weeks I have committed to praying again, to being passionate about prayer, and trusting that God hears me.
My God is no longer silent because I am no longer impatiently waiting on a genie in a bottle to grant my wish. I am pursuing my first love and I am listening as He speaks to my heart. I am watching in awe as He works His miracles in me, through me, and all around me.
How about you? Are you weary of the silence?
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. I John 1:5 (NIV)
Father God, thank you that You are pure Light. Thank you that you hear the prayers of Your people and that You are at work in us, through us, and around us even when we don’t see You or hear You. Thank you that You forgive us and restore us to You. We praise You and we love You. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.