Life is crazy. That has been true for a long time, but then 2020 hit. Now life continues to jerk you up and down on its rollercoaster, in the face of this insane year where everyone seems to be in a frenzy. I don’t know about y’all, but since quarantine started, I found myself more stressed out about school, going nuts from being stuck at home, worried about the pandemic, and heartbroken over the persistence of racism... How do we navigate the rest of 2020 on top of all the other crazy stressors and hardships of “normal” life? There is no perfect answer to that, but I wanted to talk about something that has helped me a lot during this time.
Seriously, it’s amazing knowing Jesus hears me when no one else does, or when I’m so broken I cannot even express it into words. At its base, prayer is really just talking with God, so you can let Him know what’s weighing on your heart or cry out to Him when you’re having an especially bad day. What is even more amazing is that God is so much more than just an outlet for our stress; He’s the Lord over everything! And He gave us His Spirit so our prayers could change the world! There is so much brokenness in our world right now, and praying about it is one of the most powerful things we can do. I’m not asking you to add “good night prayers” to your routine like some kind of chore, but just find time to talk to Him. No matter how you are feeling, He is always listening. Here are some different tips to try if you would like!
Write it down: Sometimes it really helps to just write down how you feel, but almost like in a letter to God. You can do it in a journal or in your phone and put into words what you want to say to Him. It’s also encouraging to look back on your written prayers and see how God was and is moving through your life.
Just talk: I know it can seem awkward just speaking into the air, but His Spirit is right there in your heart; so think of it as speaking to a friend in the same room as you! There are times when God can press it upon our hearts to go into deep intercession for others or a certain situation, but it’s also totally valid to just talk to Him casually.
Throughout the day: Having a devoted time set aside for prayer is awesome and highly recommended, but you can also pray throughout the day. There’s the usual such as before meals and before going to bed, but you can also simply talk with and acknowledge Him throughout the day. Doing so can also serve as little reminders to yourself that He’s still with you and loved you enough to sacrifice Himself on a cross for you!
Make a list: If you don’t know what to pray for or feel overwhelmed by all the different things you feel heavy on your heart, jot down a list of people and conflicts to pray about. I recently did this in the notes app on my phone, and every day I pick one name/thing on the list to pray for!
On the heels of describing the armor of God in Ephesians 6, Paul exhorts us to be “praying always with prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:18 NKJV). Our spiritual armor is a vital part to our lives in Christ, but Paul made sure to also emphasize the importance of prayer and reliance upon the Spirit. When we pray we are deepening our relationship with our Savior, Ruler of the Universe, as well as lifting each other’s needs up and praising the Lord for all that He is. The ability to talk to God intimately was unknown to His people before Jesus’ sacrifice; prayer is a beautiful gift He has given us. During such a crazy time like 2020, it would be good of us to thank Him for and use this gift!
Taking it one day at a time,