I've been participating in the Blog-tember challenge hosted by Bailey Jean this month. Although I didn't do every single day, I am happy with the outcome. I have made many new friends, one of which I found out lives down the street! It wouldn't of been possible had it not been for Blog-tember.
Blogging is a funny thing. People on the outside don't understand it but on the inside, you can find Christ-like, genuine, encouraging friends to actually live life with. It's crazy cool!
For my farewell post, I want to share what God has been teaching me. I so wish that we could be sitting across a table from one another, coffee in hand. I would be the typical girl and order a pumpkin spice because I just can't pass up the opportunity ;)
Last week, I was in the hospital. I contracted some sort of virus while on vacation in Cali. I was super sick. During my short stay, I prayed nearly the entire time. "God, help me. Please help me. Please keep the baby safe and healthy."
I am finally feeling better, thank God, after almost two weeks. Now that I am back to normal, I've been thinking a lot about my prayer life with God. My husband came back from a men's retreat last month with our church and their focus was on prayer as well. We also studied prayer in our church's youth group where Joe and I serve. And there is a simulcast this Saturday on prayer at our church. I really believe God is trying to get through to us about prayer. But in the most loving way. You see, I realized that 99% of all of my prayers are me seeking the hand of God. Not that that is wrong but it's all I do. Yes, being dependent on God is what He desires from His children, that wasn't the problem, I was too focused on His hand instead of His heart.
I was challenged by the Holy Spirit to really seek God. To learn what that looks like. To practice it. To make it a habit (not as a chore but because that's what my God delights in and I delight in Him). To seek His face, get to know Him better, to love Him more. A lot of the time I tell God that I want to know Him better yet when I pray, all I do is ask for things from Him. Or when I read my Bible, I do it seeking what I can get out of it for my own personal gain. Sinful. My intentions are "good" but my heart is prone to selfishness and failure.
Two nights ago, I couldn't sleep so I just laid there talking to God. Asking Him questions. Praising Him for His goodness and His amazing love. I sang worship songs in my head to Him, really meaning and thinking on the lyrics. I was enjoying His presence. I brought along no strings.
The next morning, my husband asked me to wake up with him and make my famous griddle pumpkin pancakes (they're totally layered in butter). He brewed some coffee and we sat down. He opened up his Bible and we turned to Psalm 63... (MUST read)
"O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed
and meditate on you within the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me."
And we prayed. We thanked God for His power and glory, His love. We praised Him. We thanked Him. We let scripture be our guide. We told God of our dependence on Him. We laid our lives at His feet. We worshipped Him.
So, I challenge you. I challenge you to seek the face of God. Ask God for help in moving past the "need-based prayers" and onto the "worship-based prayers". Let scripture be your guide in your prayer life. It's freeing, it's amazing, and it really does bring you into the heart and warmth of God.