In the past when I prayed, it was almost always for God to help me.
This wouldn’t be a bad thing, except after praying I didn’t listen for His answer and it was selfishly motivated.
God always provides answers, in His time not in mine. All too often I was watching for ways that I could control situations rather than being certain that God will guide me.
My prayer life has changed drastically, I don’t only begin and end my day in prayer I also share my thoughts, worries and emotions with God throughout the day. I’ve developed a relationship with God by reading his Word, praising him and prayer.
Sounds like a pretty simple blueprint for Faith, but it takes more, much more.
I’ve had to take a good look at my selfishness, my deep seeded beliefs in Worldly ways, my defects of character, my strengths and the patterns of behavior I had built over 36 years.
I began to be rigorously honest with myself.
That’s been as challenging as living with two children with white furniture.
But my internal furniture has finally become white….for today.
It wasn’t until I gave up trying to live my will selfishly, when I came to the turning point where I could see my ways weren’t working that God alone gave me hope.
A quote from a post I wrote on Feb. 2/11:”I knew in my soul that God would guide me. He brought me to AA and the people and the program which would change my life if I worked for it. Blind faith as I’ve been known to call it. And work it I have with the help of some fantastic people and God of course.”
Little did I realize that the changes I needed to make in my life would be ongoing, a juvenile part of myself wanted God to fix it all at once…just another example of my need for instant gratification which I needed to let go.
My ego suffers blows often, it flares up without my notice and quickly something happens to force me to realize it. This is annoying and yet brings me closer to God because I know I can rely upon Him to guide me when I’m paying attention.
Writing here is one example, I began this blog to journal and have grown throughout my writing. It is a wonderful outlet to share myself, to work through my feelings and emotions. As I received comments from people I was joyful that God is using this as a venue to spread the word about alcoholism, recovery and God’s amazing Grace.
There is a line here though, one of which I’m seriously aware….the line where my need for the spotlight can outweight my need to spread the message.
With each post written I pause before hitting publish, I ask myself “Wicked-Amazing-Sober-Julie: Is this written in the manner you really want to convey?” Generally speaking I go ahead and hit publish but every now and again I stop and realize that my ego stepped in and end up deleting and re-writing.
Prayer has helped me with this, it’s allowed me to feel grounded in my faith and to be conscious of my voice.
Today I ask, do you pray to your Higher Power?
Are you consciously aware of God’s presence around you and the opportunities He is presenting you with?
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 87
We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no requests for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends.
Yes, I pray often. God is awesome! He is where I turn when I need His help and when I praise Him. He is often the center of my blog posts.
You are a great writer. I’m glad I’m not the only one who sometimes deletes a post and starts all over.
And I’m glad to hear I’m not alone as well lol
Love this post!
I used to pray “on schedule” but mostly I pray like Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof. All day long I’m talking to God as if(cuz He is) right here. It works for me!
Great Mark, now you’re making me dust off my book lol. But yup sounds like we have the same practice with God.
I do pray. In the past two years, I have gone through a very difficult season in my life – and used prayer often for guidance and answers. The ‘answers’ were not always what I WANTED to hear, but came through the words of others and were often what I NEEDED to hear..
I have also come to realize that sometimes unanswered prayers are often the exact opposite of that – that God knows what is truly best for me and the ‘unanswered’ prayers are actually answers in disguise.
The “unanswered” prayers tick me off, in my little mind they frustrate me and yet in the end I can always see why God didn’t “answer”.
Sandy L. says
Julie your blog really hit home with me. It is sometimes so difficult to get out of Gods way and let Him do what He does best. He knows….we don’t !! I use the third step prayer every morning.
God I offer myself to Thee. To build with me and to do with me as you will. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would serve, of Thy Power, Thy Love and Thy way of life, may I do Thy will ALWAYS…In Jesus Name….Amen
I do pray. But not as much as I think I should or need to. Sometimes in the busyness of raising two little boys, I forget how much I need God in the midst of it all. How important it is to include Him in my decisions, thank Him for His blessings, and seek His guidance in trouble. You know, as I’m getting older I’m learning that although God does answer all prayers, it’s not always the answer I want but it’s always the answer I need.