When You Wonder How to Pray

Do you ever wonder how to pray? Not the process, but the content. That’s where I’ve found myself this week. 

In the great scope of things I’ve been honored to prayer for over the years, this seems a little trivial. 

But if feels big to this mama’s heart. 

And I know many of you are also under attack in this season, so my hope is this could be a safe place where we can all share and pray for our specific brand of opposition. 

I’ll start.

Last year I committed to being a part of the Planting Roots annual conference before my son even knew he was trying out for tennis. And, of course, we later found out the end of season conference tournament (where they finally beat their nemesis) was the same day as PR’s event in McLean, VA. My heart ached to be court-side with my family despite having a front-row seat for what God was doing in McLean.

So this year I waited to commit to leading a workshop at the conference in Fayetteville, NV until the tennis schedule came out. I prayed (and some of you did, too) that the two events wouldn’t be mutually exclusive this year. And they weren’t!

This year, his tennis conference championship is scheduled for tomorrow. But now it’s supposed to rain. Like a lot. In the morning. Tennis isn’t like soccer or football….they really have to wait until the courts dry up to play. So, the logical course of action would be to reschedule for the 19th.…the same day I’m presenting twice in another state.

I Wonder How To Pray

All week, I’ve been praying for God to move the rain away while watching the percentages creep up…30% 40% 50%, 70%. Knowing God can, no matter what the meteorologists say, I’ve been steadfast and bold. But last night, I got to thinking about how I would feel if my prayers weren’t answered the way I have hoped. It also occurred to me that somebody somewhere was probably praying FOR rain, because we are several inches below the average here in this region. That’s when I began to wonder how to pray in this situation.

When you don't know how to pray

Instinctively I could sense the opening rain on Saturday would create for the enemy to peddle his lies and accusations and at me. Like God loves those praying for rain more, or my desires are insignificant to Him. Or maybe I messed up by trying to schedule things so closely together. And who did I think I was galavanting off to North Carolina. Why would God use me, a mama who missed her son’s big tournament two years in a row? You see how easily my thoughts can easily spiral.…

But this morning as I was praying, I felt the Holy Spirit redirecting me.

The desire of my heart is not to miss my son’s tennis and to not feel like my ministry interferes with my family. And there are so many ways other than holding back the rain that God could work that out. Ways I cannot even imagine. Ways that could even turn the heartbreak of missing the tournament into a blessing or a lesson that grows my family’s faith and dedication to serving God for years to come. Why would I pigeon-hole God into fulfilling the desires of my heart one very simple (for Him) way? And who am I to say how He should answer my prayers?

Here’s the thing. God doesn’t owe me anything. He isn’t a genie in a bottle I can call on the grant my three wishes. He is the God and Creator of the universe. All-Powerful. All-Knowing. Ever Present. The One who keeps this planet and all the others in all the galaxies orbiting on their axises day after day. And He is love demonstrated in His every action and purpose. And He has already provided me with everything I need—eternal and abundant life and salvation through faith in His Son’s perfect life, gruesome death, and glorious resurrection.

I Want the Wonder

I want the big showy miracle, the rain held back against all odds and predictions because that would be really cool to share with the public for God’s glory. But I also want a heart that is open to God’s will in this situation. And eyes to see how He actually answers this prayer. To see the lesson or the blessing in disguise. To heed the discipline and seek Him even in my disappointment. And I want a voice to share how God works this out for good, even if it doesn’t feel good.

When you wonder how to pray

So, those are my prayer requests and my prayers for each of you as you undoubtedly face opposition of various kinds as you move forward in faith to do what God has called you to do.  That you would seek God’s purpose fervently when you don’t know how to pray so that Satan could not use your disappointment to cause you to doubt or despair. And that trusting the Holy Spirit to translate your prayers, you would never wonder how to pray.

How to put an end to wondering how to pray.

Remembering God has already given us all we really need, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He loves us. When we believe God is love, we trust His answers to our prayers are good. When we trust God will make all things work out for good we discover the courage to pray for His will to be done. And when we pray for God’s will to be done in our every circumstance we can slam the door on Satan’s attacks. 

That is when we will no longer wonder how to pray.

When You Wonder How To Pray

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