Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Prayer Lessons

I'm sure I'll never know *why* I'm having these anxiety attacks. It's beyond my comprehension. But each night of sleeplessness has taught me a lesson about prayer.

The first night, March 28, I didn't fall asleep until I prayed without ceasing.

The second night, March 29, I didn't fall asleep until after I gathered prayer support.

The third night, April 7, I didn't fall asleep until I spent time praying for those around me.

The fourth night, last night, I learned yet another lesson.

Last night, I started trying to fall asleep around 9:30 pm. I did doze successfully for a few minutes, but then a movement awoke me and the trembling began.

Around midnight, in the midst of my shaking, I simply said to Abba, "Look. I'm really angry with You right now because You haven't just made this go away."

Abba said, "You haven't asked Me."

And He was right (of course). I hadn't asked Him. And why hadn't I? Because I've believed that to ask for a change in circumstances is a sign of discontent. I've heard countless people say, "Don't ask for God to change your circumstances. Ask Him to sustain you in them."

Well, and it's true. God often keeps us in situations that we dearly wish with all our hearts would just go away, for His specific purposes which we may or may not understand in this life.

I'd apparently internalized this so completely that it didn't even occur to me to simply ask, "Abba, please take this away."

But at midnight, after my fourth night in a week's time of shaking uncontrollably for several hours, I was certainly ready to ask for a change in circumstances.

So, still slightly miffed, I shot back to Abba, "Okay. Fine. Will You please just take this away?"

I was asleep in two minutes.

If only I were the kind of person who could learn lessons on prayer without being dragged through trembly land in the process! But not this gal. It usually takes extreme circumstances to get me to alter my behavior or methods in any way.

Jeff's dad always says the only way to get a passive agressive person (like me) to do something is to make the alternative worse. I've been asking for God make me a prayer warrior for a while now, but I've consistently failed to 'just do it'. It takes making the alternative worse to drive me to my knees.

I've learned a lot about different kinds of prayer over the past week and a half. My prayer now is that I'll apply these lessons to my life and actually become the prayer warrior I have always dreamed of being.