Prayer isn’t easy work

If i’m being honest, my biggest struggle in my walk with God is prayer. I’ve made it my New Year’s resolution to pray more over and over again and nothing has really changed. I’ve started journaling my prayers a little bit this year and it has been quite helpful.

When I really think about it, prayer is so important. It connects us to God and shows him that we acknowledge and trust him.  So looking back at my prayer life this year, I haven’t been acknowledging him or trusting him very well. I haven’t been inviting him into my life because I haven’t been communicating with him. How can he help me and comfort me if I don’t tell him what’s wrong? How can I show my thanks to him if I don’t tell him thank you?

In my favorite college class this semester, we studied a verse about how God is always working. He is always working. He is always, always working.

Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too, am working.” John 5:17

If God is always working and we are supposed to follow his lead, then we should be working also. It is not just a one-way relationship. If God is working for us, then we should be working for him. Working on our prayer is the first step!

I know now that if I don’t start talking to God, then I am not really giving my all to him. I am not trusting him and I am not really loving him if I don’t communicate with him. I’ve decided to come up with some simple things to help me this year (instead of making prayer my New Year’s resolution). 

Keep journaling and journal more often. I find that when I write my prayers down, then I actually do pray. I don’t even have to write out a complete prayer, but by writing my thoughts down to God, I am focusing my thoughts towards him and acknowledging his existence.

Bring God into everyday tasks. I’ve found that I don’t have to make time to pray. I just have to make everything I do a prayer. I have to make little things like doing dishes, running, or even getting ready in the morning all about God. If I am constantly focused on him, then I am constantly praying.

Pray before eating. I know this is a common one, but I tend to skip it all the time. It’s such a simple task to see food and automatically give thanks. I feel like if I really am thankful, then I will start thanking God for what he has provided.

Stop making excuses, just do it. I make excuses such as forgetting to pray, being afraid to pray in public, or even just a simple “I’m so hungry,  I have to eat now!”. It’s time to stop making excuses and not be ashamed.

It’s time to really be serious and intentional about my relationship with my Heavenly Father. No more excuses. He loves me so much and when I go days without praying, he wonders if I really mean it when I say that I love him.

When you don’t want to be single anymore

I’m currently reading Annie Downs book, Let’s All Be Brave, and just finished the chapter about being single. All of her points are valid about the way it sucks to be alone and how sometimes it hurts more than others, but I also find encouragement in her words about how Jesus is always with us and how we are never alone. It is so very true that He is with us through this season of life.

As I’ve scrolled through Facebook and Instagram these past few weeks, I’ve seen nothing but engagements, weddings and relationship statuses changing. I find myself wondering, “When will that be me?” and begin to doubt God and His promise to me that He knows what is best for me.

This is where things start to get bad… When I try to take it into my own hands and not trust God. When I see a cute guy and automatically think, “What if he’s the one?” And when I have a somewhat friendship with someone and start messaging and texting them and over-romanticizing the situation. I have to really stop and tell myself, “Wake up!!” Just because he is a wonderful guy (with all of the things on my list) does not mean he is the one for me. It definitely doesn’t mean that I am ready for a relationship just because I think i’ve found the perfect match.

Honestly, sometimes I’m just scared. Scared that I might miss out on this awesome person if I do not take the chance now. I feel like if I don’t message him, text him, ask him to hangout, or try and get him to notice me (even when I swore that the next guy I’d like would be the one asking me out), then will I be missing out on the “ONE” that is meant for me in this life?

This is all wrong… I don’t believe that God would let a guy pass me up if he is the “ONE”. If God knows my desire to be “pursued” by a guy, then God will let me be pursued when the time is right. It’s just up to me now to wait. Yes, there I said it… WAIT. I have to be patient and know that if I don’t wait, then I am not getting God’s best pick.

Something a lady at my church told me last Sunday stuck in my head, “Whoever ends up with you has to be a very special guy.” I think this stuck in my head for two reasons: 1) because she thinks I am going to end up with someone!!!!! 2) because she thinks that I am not just meant for anyone, but someone really special.

The same is meant for you! You are more than likely going to end up with someone and you are meant for someone special. As much as I don’t believe my own words, my wish is that young girls would know that they don’t need a boyfriend. They don’t need to date someone in high school. They don’t need someone to make them feel special or beautiful.

As much as it hurts to wait and be “lonely” for awhile, I have a big hope that it will be worth it.

Besides, right now I can watch as many Hallmark movies as I want, while I cuddle up on the couch and eat all the chocolate my heart desires.

Until then, I need to not take my singleness into my own hands, but give it up to the One who loves me and knows my heart completely. I know He will choose a guy much better than any I could ever pick.

-Lana