Prayer is such an interesting thing. It's something I love and something I've struggled with my entire life. I go back and forth between thinking it's the most important thing I do and wondering if it even really matters. In the last year, though, I've settled on the fact - as I've seen proven over and over again - that prayer is one of the best uses of my time.
Like everyone else, however, I still struggle with prayer. My mind often wanders to the pressing moments of the day or even random thoughts that happen to distract me. When that happens and I realize I'm no longer praying but simply thinking about things big and small, I often get frustrated and discouraged. After all, I am firmly convinced it is one of the most important things in my life, so how could I get off-track so quickly?!
In view of that, I actually started praying that I would 'get better' at praying, whatever that means. It felt a little silly at first, and even more so when I would get distracted while praying about praying! But slowly, surely, I began to see that prayer answered in the most incredible ways...
Firstly, I began to go to a weekly early-morning prayer time at my church. I had seen it before and thought about it, but with Willow being so young I just couldn't commit. Now that she's more steady and (almost always!) sleeping through the night, though, Nathan agreed to watch her in the mornings once a week while I go. Tuesday mornings are always a little crazy - his car is running so he can head straight to work and I have to hit the ground running with our breakfasts - but it has been SO worthwhile.
Along with that, the book A Praying Life was highly recommended to me and I read it. This has been one of the single biggest factors that is changing my thinking about prayer. If you haven't read it, you.need.to. It's practical. It's helpful. It is filled with verses, stories, and advice to help you think about and do prayer differently. I can't recommend it enough.
The last big change, and the one I'm most excited about, is that the more I pray - even if I get interrupted two seconds in - the more I want to pray. I find myself praying all throughout the day. It is coming to me as naturally as breathing. I almost don't recognize myself in this regard, but oh how I have wanted to want this in my life. It's one of the things I most admire about my mom (she literally prays ALL the time!) and I hope to continue to grow more each day.
Finding my voice in prayer has been a slow 27-year journey, and by no means do I think I've 'arrived.' But I'm excited to see real progress in my life, to have people around me to help me grow, and to see firsthand what a priority it is - and seeing how God works, in ways big and small, has been the most amazing thing of all.