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A lot can be said about prayer.  Most prayers are in moments of crisis.  Even non-believers are said to have prayed to God in emergency situations.  Prayer is simply this:  Talking to God.   I do know that God wants us to talk to Him all the time, not just when we are in trouble.  I have been guilty of only praying when I need something. But that doesn’t mean God doesn’t listen. He does. 

You can imagine that this past year I’ve been doing a lot of praying.  It seems like we are always struggling with” Matt” issues.  Most of my prayers went something like this:

 “Please, God….please help Matthew.”

“Please help our family”

“Please help him to have a good day at school.”

“Please help him to sleep through the night.”

“Please help him get through the morning without an outbust.”

“Please help him walk to the school bus without an outburst.”

“Please give us strength to survive the weekend.”

Please give us strength to survive the next hour.”

When times are dark, its normal to feel as though God is at a distance. It’s also normal to feel as though He isn’t even there.  Seeds of doubt are planted, and hope is lost. 

Deep in my heart, I know that hope is not lost. Hope is what gets me up in the morning.  Hope is what gets me to church even though there are many times I don’t feel like going.  Like this last Sunday for example.  Matt had a tough weekend. We were unsuccessful getting the meds down him, he didn’t like what was for breakfast, and he became enraged several times because Alec looked at him weird. I just didn’t feel like going to church.  I didn’t feel like seeing happy families with their happy children walking together happily into the sanctuary. Nice christian attitude of mine, hu?  Truth is, I don’t believe that there is one christian in this whole world who can say they haven’t felt that way once or twice. But after the sermon is over, I always feel better. I am always glad that we came. 

Our pastor’s sermon was about prayer.  It was about praying during all seasons of our lives. Not just the season’s of strife, but also during times when things are going well.  He said “praying should be like breathing”. Yes, it’s that important.  After church, I took inventory of my priorities.  Prayer didn’t land very high on my list of priorities. I just did it when it was convenient for me.  I also realised there was a small part of me that doubted God was even listening.  I mean, if He was, then why hasn’t He answered me by now?  He knows what I want. Why do I have to keep telling Him?  After giving it a lot of thought, I realized how ungrateful that sounded.  Throughout this past Sunday and Monday, I prayed.  I praised God for all the blessings that we have. I prayed for other people, not just me.  I asked for forgiveness for doubting Him and trying to control everything.  And of course I prayed for our family.  When I started praying for Matthew’s outbursts to settle, I felt the doubt creep in.  As if Matthew can go an entire day without freaking out at home.  Yah, right! It’s been almost a month since Matt went a whole day without a meltdown and that was because he was sick! But I prayed anyway. I prayed that Matthew would have peaceful days at home. Yesterday was Tuesday.  Matt did not have one meltdown at home yesterday. Not one. He hasn’t melted down today either! Haven’t heard the day care report yet but he did great at school! He even played with his brother for an hour! I can’t remember the last time that has happened! Some peopel might think this mellow behavior is a result of the new medicine he is on.  I dont’ think so because we’ve had little success getting him to actually ingest the stuff.  The taste is nasty and he gags and spits it up.  Never underestimate the power of prayer!  I know I won’t!

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