God is funny. Sometimes when we ask Him for things, He goes beyond what we ask Him.
Case in point: I asked God to help me be less distracted by my phone (it’s a big issue for me). A couple of days after I started praying for this, my older daughter decided she wanted to watch cartoons while taking a bath (true story) and my phone drowned and died that very day. I didn’t hand her the phone to watch in the bathtub. I placed it on the bathroom counter (which is in a different area than the tub), but while I was distracted cleaning a mess in another room, she physically got out of the tub, grabbed the phone, and took it back into the tub with her.
This would have been hilarious if I was rich and could by another phone that very day, but I’m not, so it’s not quite that funny (yet). But as more time has passed, I’ve seen it more as a blessing than an unfortunate event.
John Piper once said “One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time“.
Strangely enough, I had referenced this quote at a women’s event at church I attended. The topic was (you guessed it) prayer and I gave “time” as a reason for my lack of it. I said that I had two kids and my husband not only works, but is a musician who is out-of-town a lot, so my list of responsibilities is pretty long. And it’s the truth; my life is pretty busy.
But God never said that “lack of time” was an excuse not to pray. My pastor’s wife (who was leading the women’s event) mentioned that she started by finding 15 minutes a day to sit down and pray. Mind you, her kids are older (I can’t leave an 8 month old alone for 15 minutes to fend for herself). She started with 15 minutes a day and found that, at times, she’d be praying for 45 minutes straight, unaware that so much time had passed.
I definitely wanted that (even if, with an infant, it would look a bit different). So God chose to give me more time in the best way He saw fit; he broke my phone.
The truth is, I can get really distracted on my phone. I’ll sit there, scrolling on Instagram or Facebook for hours. All it really accomplishes it upsetting me or making me envious of someone’s “highlight reel” of a life (because nobody ever shows the negative moments on social media). Sure, I don’t get green with envy every time I open the Instagram app, but it happens enough that I took notice. Can you imagine that? Getting jealous at something that isn’t even an accurate representation of the truth?
So, God broke my phone.
And while I don’t have a flourishing prayer life (I’m not hidden away in a “war room” for 5 hours a day), it’s gotten better. The times I normally would have looked at my phone (right before bed, after waking up, while eating breakfast, etc), I’ve been reminded to pray. And while I don’t know how God is answering those prayers (because some of them are for people I don’t even really talk to much), I know He is hearing them. I also know praying for some people has changed my heart towards them (and that could be a blog post all on its own).
Do you struggle with prayer sometimes too? If you do, you’re not alone. First of all, let me tell you that there are people who serve on the prayer ministry at my church that struggled with prayer. Crazy, right? God took people who were least gifted in that area and made them prayer warriors. So please, don’t feel like a defective Christian.
Here are a couple of things that have either helped me or are on my list of things to try:
- Setting aside some time everyday to sit quietly and pray (as I mentioned earlier, my pastor’s wife set aside 15 minutes, but that might look different for you).
- Using a prayer journal to write down prayers.
- Keeping a list of people you want to pray for and going down the list as you pray.
- If you need a model for how to pray, the best model is Jesus Himself. In Matthew 6:5-15, Jesus gives His disciples the “Lord’s Prayer” and outlines a structure for us to pray through. (I may do a blog post on this alone in the future, so stay tuned for that).
- While I forgot the name of it, there is a type of prayer that involves reading through a passage of scripture out loud and quietly listening for the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I have never done this myself, but it was a suggestion given at the women’s event I attended.
All in all, I believe that, when we ask God for help in order to accomplish His will, He will aid us, even if the aid doesn’t quite look the way we would have liked; even if it means breaking your phone.
Grace & Peace.
(P.s. Please pray for me and my prayer life. If you’d like me to pray for you, please comment below and I’ll be sure to pray for you!)