Really. I’m horrible at it.
I mean, I start out strong:
God, thank you for today. Thank you for your love. I love you.
But I quickly devolve into pointless babbling. And my mind starts to wander. I begin thinking about what I want to eat for breakfast, and then I notice that my toes are freezing cold (but I can’t get socks because I’m praying).
Oh, right - I’m praying.
And God, help me to stay focused on you as I go through my day today (even though I can’t make it through a simple prayer without getting distracted…).
And then I hear a rustle coming from the bedroom - that must mean that Shannon’s getting up for the day. Did I start a pot of coffee? She always likes it when I have coffee ready for her. I’m pretty sure I made a pot, because I remember that I did some of the dishes in the sink afterwards (brownie points!).
When Shannon gets out of the shower, I need to remind her that we need some more dish soap.
Mmmm, I smell the coffee! I should grab a cup real quick, and then I can continue … praying. Crap.
God, I swear I really do love you. And I really do want to spend time with you. It probably seems like I don’t care, because I keep getting sidetracked, but I promise that I want you to be my priority right now.
But if I REALLY wanted him to be my priority, wouldn’t I stop thinking about all of this other crap?
Maybe I’m the only one who struggles with this sort of thing.
My intentions are good and my heart is right, but I just can’t seem to stay focused.
But the older I get, and the more cumulative time I spend in these awkward prayer sessions, the more I realize something:
God doesn’t need me to stay focused. In fact, I’ve come to realize that he uses these awkward prayer times to orient me for the day.
He’s whispering in my ear that he cares about me. My cold toes are important to him. He knows that I love coffee, and my happiness brings him joy. Even when my thoughts drift to mundane chores, he is guiding me through life.
So I have two options:
- I can hang my head at my constant failure at prayer, beating myself to try to do better next time, or
- I can relax and enjoy my time with my Father, letting him speak to me however he wants.
I trust that, as I continue to grow in prayer, I will become more attuned to hear his voice. I can’t wait for the day when his whispers become a torrent of love.