Monday, January 16, 2012

What the Heck Am I Supposed to be Praying For???

Do you always know what to pray for?  For yourself?  Do you always know in what direction you're going?

I mean, I feel very equipped to pray for others..."Lord, thank you for healing so and so," and "Lord, thank you for taking care of so and so," and "Father, thank you for your blessings for so and so," and so on and so forth.  (8 "so's" in one sentence, by the way...must be a new record.  And why in the heck do I know this many people named "so and so" anyway?)

I am missing a clear direction for myself in prayer many times as there are times that I don't know if my petitions are in line with my given path.

"Father, thank you for blessing my family with a good living and a bigger house so we can share your blessings with others."  (Is this a materialistic prayer?  Am I being selfish?)

"Lord, thank you for putting more writing opportunities in my path so I can fully flesh out Your desire and goals for me and earn enough to help my family grow."  (Is this my desire or His?)

"God, thank you for not giving me more than I can handle and always opening the paths of Your choice for me so I can stay calm and represent Your word to my family and others?"  (Should I be able to handle more?  Am I not working hard enough when I'm stressed about deadlines and opportunities?)

All of these questions and concerns were at the forefront for me this morning as I wearily climbed into the shower to take my son to 7:30AM services.  As always, when I am stressed and confused, my mind spinning out of control, I asked God to quiet my ever-fertile imagination and show me the signs I would need to understand how to pray...for what to pray...when to pray...how to enlarge my vision while also staying humble about my trust in Him.

Then I went to Mass...

And now I sit to write this morning with a joyous, grateful heart.  Not only did He answer my prayer, He really outdid Himself this time.  His message was in the people...in the music...in the message...in the Word.  By the end of the service, I was in tears because He had blessed me more than I could have hoped for through these communications. 

So this week, I will devote each day to one lesson of the many that I heard in one hour of devotion, starting with the song that led the service...my first answer:

"I, the Lord of sea and sky.  I  have heard my people (Cynthia) cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin (and confusion and anxiety), My hand will save.
I who made the stars of night.  I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear My light to them?  Whom shall I send?  (Me, please!)

Here I am, Lord.  Is it I Lord?  I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.  I will hold your people in my heart.

I who made the snow and rain.  I have born my people's pain (both wordly and self-inflicted).
I have wept for love of them.  They turn away.  (Sorry, I really didn't mean to.  I just get so consumed by worry.)
I will break their hearts of stone.  Give them hearts for love alone (not of anxiety, stress or doubt).
I will give my peace to them...whom shall I send?  (I said ME!!!)

Here I am, Lord.  Is it I Lord?  I have heard you calling in the night.  (or at 7:30 mass)
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.  (Just shut your mind up and listen, Cynthia!) I will hold your people in my heart."  (Family, friends, strangers, Christians, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, and and and...)

Answer One in less than 3 minutes of glorious song.  "Stop worrying about what to pray and just listen.  I made your precious, little worrisome heart - and now I'm trying to heal it.  Love others.  Lead others.  Protect others....as I love, lead and protect you."  Thank you God!

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