Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sleepless Thoughts

    So, as some of you may have gathered from Facebook, I CAN'T SLEEP! I have been having these sleepless issues for my whole life but it has been exceptionally worse since I moved here. This makes no sense to me WHAT. SO. EVER. I have no idea why this... really...NO IDEA!!! Some nights I wake up so startled that I am fighting back tears because I can't BELIEVE what I just dreamt! Other nights I wake up for no reason at all and lay there staring at the ceiling. I have tried EVERYTHING to make it better: exercising, taking valerian root, using lavender oils and bathing in lavender soap, doing them all together..I mean, let's be real...I've tried every solution under the sun (other then taking sleeping pills which I REFUSE to do because I can no commit to getting a certain amount of sleep every night and I will NOT risk getting addicted or waking up groggy)!
    Yesterday I was texting with my friend Becky and she asked me if I pray before bed. I was ashamed to tell her that I don't. I really have a hard time with that issue. Sometimes I try really hard and other times I just don't. So, last night, after our conversation, I decided to heed her advice and pray before falling asleep. My problem is, I am a horrible prayer. As a child who was born and raised in a Christian home with parents who have INCREDIBLE prayer lives, HOW is this possible?! I can pray well in a crowd out loud and when I have specific things to pray about but when it's just me and Jesus, I just don't know what to say. Trust me, I love my savior more than anything in this world, but, I find myself distracted and frustrated while trying to talk to him. I know prayer is a discipline, but clearly I haven't taught myself that discipline very well. My mom is the most amazing prayer warrior I've ever met and I envy her ability to talk to our Savior the way she does! When I was laying awake in the middle of the night last night, for no reason, I felt the need to talk to Jesus. So I did. After about 2 minutes I found myself distracted as usual and I had no idea what I had even said already.
   This is me being real with you. So, this is where I am going to open my blog up for advise. I don't really know that I would heed your advise for the sleep issues because the only thing left to try is sleeping aids and I will not do that. I am, however, wanting to know about your prayer life. How do you pray? In a closest on your knees as the scripture advises? It is something that I think is never really taught in the church because it is just supposed to be "natural" but honestly...it's not! I am a VERY talkative person who communicates very well but, I don't know how to pray. I have tried prayer journals and I do well with them for a while until I lose motivation to write in them. I have tried praying on my face so nothing around me can distract me but then my mind wanders. So anyways, here is where you (as the readers of this blog and fellow believers) tell me how you pray and maybe you can teach me how to pray. Like I said, I'm being real. This is kind of a taboo topic is seems because we should know how to talk to Jesus. So be real back, please!
Striving to be more like HIM everyday,
Me    

3 comments:

  1. It is interesting that you should blog about this I have been thinking about it a lot. I feel sorry that I didn't "teach" you to pray in a more practical way. I have had conversations with people about the lack of teaching on prayer in the church and what a shame it is that we have done away with written prayer books. I'll bet you are not alone in this subject.

    Prayer has been a very personal core practice in my life. Sometimes I pray a lot and sometimes it is sporadic without a lot of rhyme or reason. I have done some reading about it and have studied about the prayers of those in the Bible. I could probably write a book. I won't do that here but I will give a few suggestions.

    I know you have read The Practice of the Presence of God. I just read it again, and it gets to the core of the prayer problem. You should read it again. If you don't have your copy, you can read it free online.

    The basic problem is the fact that our minds are not disciplined. We have too many things to think about, too much stimulation, not enough peace and quiet. Our minds do not know how to stop. We need to find ways to focus our thoughts. These are some of the things the things I do.

    I write my prayers, but not all of the time so it doesn't get old. I write poems and letters or just bullet points sometimes. Sometimes I doodle my prayers with shapes and letters and pictures. They look horrible when I am done but it helped me focus so I figure there's no harm.

    I pray with a list. I have a list of all of my family members and close friends that pray for regularly. I also have a list of prayer needs, so when I tell someone I will pray for them about something specific I write it down. Most of it is cryptic so if someone finds my prayer book the prayer requests are secure. I keep it in my purse so it will be handy to write in.

    I pray out loud. It sounds goofy, but when I can't focus or there are too many prayers to sort out, I use my voice just as if Jesus was sitting next to me. He is sitting next me anyway.

    Sometimes the Bible helps me pray. This is why scripture memory is so valuable. It helps me to discipline my mind. I read or recite a passage and change it into a prayer or let it prompt me to pray about certain things.

    Much of the time I pray as things come up in my mind. I wonder how someone is doing or what decision I should make, and I turn my thoughts into a prayer. It really just takes practice reminding yourself that you are not alone and to focus on telling Jesus all about your ideas.

    Prayer is a discipline and just like all disciplines it needs to be exercised. It is hard work and does not come easily. I have not come close to mastering it yet. My mind wanders just like yours does, and I have to confess it and begin again. The wonderful thing is that I know my Savior is listening and waiting for me to return. He knows I am weak. He knows that I struggle. He is patient and kind and encourages me as I go.

    I have so much more to say about this and resources to tell you to read, but I will not do it here. This is enough for now.

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    1. Can you email me with more of your thoughts?

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