Praying is something that I have to discipline myself to do more times than not. I am the type of person who always has something going on like caring for Adelynn, chores, homework, the gym, social media, and whatever else that seems to be more "important" than taking time out of my day and praying. Now that I think about it, it bothers me reflecting back on the number of times I have put prayer on the back burner when it should have been my "go-to" solution.
The first sign of me walking away from God is when I have gone a single day, let alone consecutive days without prayer. Then, I gradually begin to rely on myself to continue on with life. When I rely on myself, I end up in fear. When I am at the face of fear, then comes temptations and well, we all know how the rest of that story goes...but something magical happens when I do pray and I am usually more aware of the power of prayer when I am at a low point of my life. I used to view prayer as boring and pointless but through personal growth I have realized it is quite the opposite.
The first amazing thing that happens when I pray is I almost immediately feel comforted right after I say "Dear Lord..." it's as if time slows down and I can catch my breath. 8 times out of 10 I am entering prayer with anxiety and I feel so much more calm and collect when I know I am talking to the one who will care for me and pull me through, which leads me to explain the next wonderful thing that happens through prayer...
Whether you are aware of it or not, when we pray we are giving God control over our situation(s). If you are in recovery you probably have heard the saying, "Let go and let God" and that's exactly what you are doing by entering a conversation with Him. God is eager to take our burdens away and is willing to love us entirely through the whole process, maybe not in the way that we expect, but better...it's just a matter of how much faith we really have in Him.
Have you ever prayed for someone and through time the person that you were praying for got better and/or your heart changed for them? Maybe you have no idea what I am talking about here...
Let me give you an example. Let's say you are angry at Lauren because you heard that she said something terrible about you. So, you are told to pray for your enemies... and you pray and pray for Lauren that she will fess up and say sorry to you thinking that her apology will comfort you... Strangely, through time and continuous prayer you find that you no longer feel bitter or resentful towards her but instead, you actually realize that she is a hurting person. Something in you (perhaps it's God) is calling you to be her friend and lead her towards a better place. So, you do and you and her become close, supportive friends.
I can recall many times that I prayed for my enemies and found something like this to happen. Or on the contrary, I prayed for many people who were not doing well physically or mentally and they healed plus gained an abundance of strength and wisdom. These things are no coincidence, prayer is powerful. But I also have to be realistic, sometimes things don't turn out at all how we wanted them to even if we did pray. Sometimes, things end terribly. But, God is still there even in the hard times and will continue to bless in very unexpected ways.
And the last thing that I find so great about prayer is that it allows us to reflect. Reflect on the things that are keeping us from being attune to Him (sin) and ask for forgiveness and start with a clean slate. It always feels good to start from a clean slate. Also, prayer is a time to reflect on what wonderful blessings God has provided for us. If we all take a second to look around at the beauty and put our burdens and heartaches aside, things suddenly seem to feel like less of a heavy load.
The more I pray, the more attune I am to God. When I am attune to God, the smoother my life runs and I am no longer tunnel vision to my will and my desires- that stuff dies quick.