Quarantine Thoughts #23: Praying

“Yea, my grandma is a prayer warrior. She prays for 5 hours everyday,” my friend said when we were discussing about praying. Well damn, I can’t even get past 2 minutes of praying before I get distracted by the dumbest things. The thought of me praying for 5 hours straight was unthinkable and I couldn’t imagine myself as a prayer warrior. Praying has always been a struggle of mine and I actively avoided it whenever I can.

Up until recently, I started praying everyday and it’s not easy. Just being still talking to Father God without having all these thoughts swirling inside your head distracting you is hard. And I’m the type of person who gets distracted easily. I don’t know if it’s thanks to my smartphone or if I was just born this way lol. Not only do I try to quiet the voices and thoughts inside my head, most times I don’t feel like praying. For the longest time, I thought if I don’t feel like praying then I won’t be genuine with Father God. So that’s why I avoided praying to Father God for a long time. I guess I saw it more as an obligation rather than having a genuine talk with Father God.

For a long time, I had the desire and the urge to talk to Father God but it would always stop short whenever I thought about prayer. I always had that notion that real prayer requires minutes and minutes of praying and I tried to shoe horn myself into that notion. Of course, it didn’t work out because I would get mentally exhausted by 5 minutes. Because of the exhaustion, I would give up on praying. Whenever my friends or people that I know would go through hard times, I was always hesitant on saying I’ll be praying for them. How could I say that when I don’t even pray at all? I’d be a fraud and a liar if I say that. So most times, I would say “Himnae” which means be strong or I would say “I’ll be praying for you whenever I pray” just to lessen that guilt and shame. I’m not proud of it but it kept my guilt at bay.

I continued to avoid prayer up until few nights ago, I was sitting on my chair and  I started to suddenly break down in tears. There were so many issues I was dealing with such as my weight and other things that were suffocating me. I was so desperate for change and I cried out to Father God. I finally prayed to Him about the things that I was dealing with and how I need His strength as I can’t deal with these problems alone. Even though I prayed to Him, it was more than praying. I had a genuine conversation with Father God. I was honest and transparent with my emotions and I didn’t hide anything from Him. It really felt refreshing to have a deep talk with Him.

The day after that night, I created a prayer chart where each day I would pray about a certain topics. So on Monday, I wrote “Myself” because I’m a mess and I need Father God’s grace lol. I would pray for my family on Tuesday and on Wednesday and Thursday I would pray for my friends. On Friday, I would pray about America and the world and we all know our world needs prayers badly. I actually learned about this prayer chart from a pastor few years back. To make praying more easy and digestible, he separated each topics in days.

I realized there’s no point in doing things that doesn’t work for me such as praying for a long amount of time. Not only did I separate the prayer topics into their own days, whenever a name or a subject pops up inside my head, I just pray for them on the spot. It’s easy and since I’m doing it on the spot I won’t forget about it. And sometimes it would naturally turn into a conversation with Father God. This method of praying has been really helpful to me. We’re not tied to one method of praying like praying for hours in the same spot. For some people, that might be the best way to pray. There’s a lot of different ways to pray and as long as you’re being genuine with God, I think that’s what it counts.

Even though there are many times I don’t feel like praying to God, I still want to talk to Him. I think an important thing is that you shouldn’t let your feelings or emotions make decisions for you. Just because you don’t feel like praying doesn’t mean you can’t be genuine with Father God. If you don’t feel like praying, just say to Father God “God, even though I don’t feel like praying to you, I want to talk with you.” My hope is that as I start praying more, I will see it less as praying but more as genuine talking with God.

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