NOTE: This turned into a longer post than I originally THOUGHT it might be, but I promise it’s worth it…and I’d really love feedback and thoughts. 🙂
Well, first of all, here is the amusing moment of my day: I had just finished a lesson with a first grade class where they were writing down their favorite day of the week in Spanish and drawing their favorite thing to do on that day. I’d handed out the equivalent of a “Terrific Kid” award for Spanish to a student and several “Bob’s Bucks” for our behavior system at school to kids who deserved them and showed great classroom behavior. I was collecting my things and as I was walking out the door, this one little girl comes up to me and says, “I have something for you.” She proceeds to give me a dime. A dime? Wonderful! I’m getting tips at school now from students! Good to know my work is worth something to her. haha. The most amusing part is that she followed this with, “When I have more money, I’ll give you some.” Hey, as a teacher…every cent counts. 🙂
In other news, the topic from the sermon Sunday has been swirling in my mind all week. The topic was prayer and how puny ours can appear to God. We’re so general and generic and almost “shy” when we are praying and asking God for things. We don’t want to “step” on His or anyone else’s toes or over boundaries. We are afraid to go BIG and ask for GREAT things and answers to heavy burdens we are dealing with. We think the small things don’t deserve BIG prayers. We ask that God “helps” us. Hello, He is helping us every day. He helps us breathe for goodness sake. I think he’d like to do a bit more than that in our day to day lives. We ask that he “BE” with us in our workplace, home, school, with others who are dealing with issues, sickness, etc. Well, isn’t He WITH us all the time anyway? Doesn’t He DWELL in our hearts and our lives? And you know, if we want His WILL to be done, we don’t need to ask that it be done. He’ll do it whether we ask Him to or not and in His own fashion, whether we like it at the time or not.
I think of my prayer life and it seems so crappy now. Quite puny when I think of HOW I ask for things. I really want to work on that after hearing this sermon and thinking of how to apply it. I am so general. “Help me with this, be with this person” It’s like sometimes I can’t think of anything better to say, so it comes out, “Help me get this work done. Help…” And gosh, does that sound whiny or what? Our prayers probably sound very wimpy and full of WHINE to God sometimes and he’s thinking, “HELLO, use that vocab you learned in English class, in AP. I can handle it, trust me.”
So, using the “three A’s” for big prayers that were mentioned – Audacity, accuracy, action – I want to try to be more audacious, accurate, and ready for action when I pray. But I can say I want to do that, but putting it into practice has been a bit more of a challenge. The action part is pretty easy to understand – be ready do to the work to help accomplish what God has for you and that you are working toward. He’s not going to do too much until you are really in there and ready to put forth the effort.
I say I want to be more accurate and audacious, but how do I do that? What does that mean? I think that issue comes up because we get stuck in our ways even with our prayers that we don’t know how to say it differently. That’s pretty ridiculous that we can’t get past that sometimes. I mean, you’re talking to your heavenly father, shouldn’t you be able to say something courageous and not stick to a script you’ve drilled into your head? I think one of the things I’m really struggling with is this: How audacious and accurate do I need to be about the small things? I know God wants to be there for me and help me with the smallest of things if I just lay it before Him, but how can I get audacious about something that seems so miniscule to me? For example: to me, asking God to help me make it through the rest of the day after lunch, seems miniscule. Of course I’ll make it… And sometimes I add on there, “Make it through the rest of the day with excellence” (with regard to teaching and doing my lessons). I ask because I get tired or I’m having a rough day or things aren’t going as I expected and I’m hoping for better. I can see that as miniscule on most days, but I know He can help me with it. Should I get more bold and say some other word besides “excellence”? Mention the name of the teacher whose class I’m going to so that I have my bases covered and can connect with that class?
I guess I just ask for “help” a lot with day to day things and don’t get specific to the point that I think I’d like to be. With specificity comes the possibility to do the ACTION part of it. If I’m specific enough about what I need, I already know what I myself can do to help accomplish what I need to. If I’m asking God to help me make some great lessons, that’s kind of general. I could instead ask for creativity to come up with some great lessons on the topic of family, food, etc. I have a base for that on my own with my resources, ideas I’ve gotten from others, etc. I already have some action I can take on my part and the excellence can come in the form of noticing little things that suddenly give me an idea and I know more often than not, I would overlook something and it HAS TO be God that sets off a creative lightbulb in my mind that just oozes greatness and endless possibilities.
So in getting audacious and accurate, does that mean I’m so specific that I ask for “x” number of hands to be raised in class a certain day so that I can get feedback on what the kids are learning and how I’m doing communicating the topic at hand? Perhaps, or do I just ask for “help” again in knowing how I’m doing and how the kids are doing? They both go hand in hand I think. I can get specific with it and that is HELP in the form of seeing how both of us are doing, but I also have to be active in making sure I provide opportunities for this feedback to occur. God may do exactly as I asked or He could just handle it in His own, perfect way and it will be different from what I asked for. But that should be ok… There is a reason He might have done it a bit differently than I wanted or may have asked for.
This insanely long blog all boils down to this and can be applied in the broader sense:
- I am whiny in my prayer life.
- 90% of the time I have a 4 year old’s vocabulary when I’m praying and can’t think of anything else or a better way to say something.
- I might sound like a drone reading the phone book to God with my repetition.
- I desire to be more accurate, audacious, and active in my prayer life.
- I’m still learning about what that looks like, sounds like, feels like.
- I’m still trying to figure out how to be that specific with the smallest of things.
- I wonder how to be that audacious, accurate, and active when I’m praying for others.
- God will still answer my prayers either way I pray in His time, but He’s ready to do more than just “help” me.
- I think this is leading me (as well as a couple of other recent incidences, conversations, and sermons) to be on the search for an accountability partner to check up on me with how my prayer life is, what I’m asking God for, etc. Takers?? I’ll kick your butt if you’ll kick mine!
And with that, we’re done… I just had that re-do on my graft and this time, I actually got the vicodin. God bless the person who formulated it. What a difference in how I feel this time as opposed to the first hours after the first actual graft.