Um… Hi God. It’s me Shantel.
Prayer has been incorporated in my life for as long as I can remember. It would be in the wee hours of the morning when mom would call us to pray. Tired, cranky, and half-sleep we’d gather in the living room of our home. Mom would begin thanking God for all of us, for clothes, shelter, and food.
After thanking Him for all of those things, mom would praise God for His goodness. As a child, I did not understand why she’d lift her voice and cry out at that point. I also couldn’t comprehend why we were up so early. But as the tears rolled down mom’s face, I knew she was sincere.
As I got older, prayer had become more of a chore in my eyes. We would pray before church, during service, before bed, and early in the morning. Prayer was a central focus in our home but not in my heart. But soon things started to change.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 NLT
My world seemed to be crashing down during high school years. I battled with low self-esteem, depression, peer pressure, and a sharp tongue. Eventually, my problems had reached their boiling point. I was not eating right, was not focused in my classes, had lost motivation even at home. Prayer seemed to be my only option. As I sobbed in my bedroom one day, I tried to muster up the words to say.
God, nobody likes me…
I wanted to be accepted by God although I was broken inside. He was my only hope.
Will you marry me?
That question came from a place of emptiness inside. I was ashamed and realized that although I had participated in prayer and gone to church, I did not know God for myself. This was my chance to experience Him personally.
As I laid there, I felt a sense of relief. It was almost as if God had whispered Yes. in my ear. Somehow I felt His love. My tears of sorrow and shame turned into tears of joy.
Come close to God, and God will come close to you.
James 4:8 NLT
I began thanking God for loving me and caring about me. My whole outlook had changed. I had become confident in my prayers and eager to learn more about it. I would volunteer in church to lead prayer. God encouraged me to pray for my family, friends, peers at school, and those who had done me wrong.
God restored me and took away my guilt & shame. I am thankful for this powerful resource that we all can possess.
Prayer is a very important portion of a believer’s life. It is something that we should not avoid. God desires a relationship with us. Check out the following quotes and scriptures about prayer.
- Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
- Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6,7
- And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. – 1 John 5:14
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Enjoy National Prayer Day.