One of my favorite blogs is Hello Neverland. I love Kenzie’s writing, but I especially love her outlook on life and dedication to recording her story. She makes an effort to live intentionally, and I find her posts to be true. Organic. Her blog is one of a few reasons I decided to start journaling again back and January and now, can’t imagine not having that practice as part of my life, whether I journal for five minutes or an hour.
While Kenzie is off adventuring in Rome, she is posting a series of journal prompts to inspire her readers. I recommend taking a look. They aren’t things like “best tips for Instagram” or “fall bucket list.” They go a little deeper and make you think, reflect.
One of her prompts was “Things you struggle to pray about.”
Things I struggle to pray about… That digs deep, doesn’t it?
Prayer is such a personal thing. There isn’t really a right way or a wrong way to pray. I tend to bristle against those who tell me otherwise. Some like to wake up early and sit with their Bible, ingest the word and pray quietly. Others may bow their heads in church or fall to their knees at bedtime. I have a friend who likes to pray while she is out for a run, and another who likes to use her commute as a chance to commune with God.
Personally, I tend to pray in the shower. I don’t know why. I can’t remember when I started. I simply find myself praying as I lather, rinse, and repeat. My journaling sessions often turn into prayers, especially when I feel compelled to write, with no topic in mind. I tend to work things out as I write, find peace. Flannery O’Connor kept a prayer journal. I often pick up my copy of it and flip to a random page, read a paragraph some days, a full entry on others. Her prayer journal was another inspiration for me to pick up my pen for journaling once more.
It is easy to phone it in when praying. I have been guilty of that – running through a quick list of things I would like God’s assistance on before moving about my day. I try to be mindful in prayer, be it while in the shower, while journaling, or simply a quick moment during the busy day, but sometimes, I simply don’t know what I’m praying for.
The things I struggle to pray about aren’t really “things” at all. Over the summer, I found I was struggling with what to pray for. There were the obvious things – family, friends, health, the sort of things that make the prayer request list at church. But, I felt like I was missing something. I have friends who pray in great detail about their future husbands or about their career path or life mission. I wanted to pray about those things too, but I didn’t know how, what to say, how to frame it.
And so, I prayed about that – what should I be praying for?
In the end, the things I struggled to pray about, I let go. I stopped grappling with them and now, I pray for God’s will for my life and the courage to follow Him wherever He calls me. Just because my best friend has a long list of things she prays for her future husband and another dear friend has a similar list about her career goals, doesn’t mean I need to have a list of those things, too.
I simply pray for God’s will, for the clear senses to hear it, and for the courage to follow it. I do pray that he puts me in a place where I can use my talents and that wherever the man is He has picked for me is, He is working on his heart and steering his path towards mine. But ultimately, I simply pray for His will, whatever that may be.
Praying for His will gives me peace. It has allowed me to fully trust the path before me, even if I can’t see around the next bend. The things I struggle to pray about no longer wear on me. He wants our trust – and I trust Him enough to pray for His will.