Can I just say, there is nothing better (maybe I’m slightly exaggerating) than having the time to sit down and write about something that started off so silly, but ended up being something really meaningful. Stay with me here folks, even though some of this may seem a bit off-kilter…
I was thinking back to this particular memory early this morning (thank you, dog, for waking us up at 6AM ON A DAY OFF). My mind was jumping back to a time a couple years back when my (now) husband and I were sitting down to dinner on a Monday night. As we typically do, before we started the meal, we joined hands and proceeded to begin to pray the common table prayer to ask God to bless our food and our lives. Now, I can’t quite pinpoint what had been going on before dinner, but apparently I was in a…”cheery” mood that evening. And by “cheery”, I mean “prone to continuous laughter”.
That evening, as we began to come before the Lord in prayer, I LOST it. Seriously guys, I had no idea what got into me, but I could NOT stop laughing. We had to start over multiple times, and I couldn’t even get through the prayer. I was literally like a child. How crazy does that sound?!
It had absolutely nothing to do with the prayer itself (I’m not making fun of Christianity here, calm down now!), but whatever it was, I could not control myself, even enough to get through a 15 second prayer. Finally, I just had to ask hubs to pray for us as I tried to stifle my laughter (my laughter from a completely unknown source).
After this all happened and I finally settled down, I felt absolutely terrible. How dare I come before the Lord and not be able to control my silliness enough to meditate on him before I eat? I felt like such a failure as a Christian, and someone that couldn’t be taken seriously after that.
And it doesn’t stop there. In the months following this horrendous incident, whenever we’d pray the common table prayer together, I had to stop myself from laughing due to the reminder of the uncontrollable silliness I had that evening.
Sincerely, even as I’m reading this, a smirk comes on my face, and I have absolutely no idea why!
It was probably something funny that happened before dinner on that dreadful day (yes indeed) that I couldn’t get out of my head, and it seeped into our prayer time. As I’m reading this over in my head, how silly it truly all seems.
However: there is a part of me that is thankful for this.
Now, I don’t know if that makes me an icky person, that I would be thankful for the fact that I could barely stifle my laughter as I came before the Lord in prayer. But here’s the ever-so-clever way that God seems to work.
After that unfortunate event (and in order to not repeat this), I began asking hubs to pray for us, and not the common table prayer, but a personal impromptu prayer. Then, after that, I began to pray for us in a free-flowing way that was not a pre-set prayer. And for a while there, we were to the point where we barely said the common table prayer anymore! I have nothing against the common table prayer (even as much of this post may beg to differ), or any other prayers that have been memorized and repeated numerous times. But something I got out of this was that it is healthy and joyful to pray out-loud off of the top of your head. I know I happen to be one of those people that tends to fall into the old saying of “going through the motions” when something seems too familiar and routine to me. In this way, I opted to pray in a manner where I was fully engaged and focused on HIM during my prayer, not zoning out and mindlessly repeating words that I have said thousands of times. I honestly feel that this mishap was the start of my emphasis on intentional prayer.
I recognize this is something I need to get back to-which is possibly why this popped into my head at dark-o-thirty this morning. (We love our dog, we do, but good grief, my loves).
What an absolute absurd and round-about way to come to this emphasis. However, God meets us where we are at and speaks to us in way that tends to impact us personally. For whatever reason, this opened up my eyes to my desire to be intentional about my intimate prayers with my Savior. Not only that, but it also reminded me of the blessing that comes from engaging in prayer with my partner in a way where we are both acting diligently and personally with our personal God. God reminds us, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans 12:12. Now, out-loud impromptu prayers is one of my goals to continue to implement!
There is something so special about being able to be informal (yet respectful) with our personal God. And the added bonus that he hears our prayers anywhere, anytime, provides the extra assurance that nothing we say to the Lord falls on deaf ears. Psalm 6:9 states “The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.” Whether his answer is “yes”, “no”, or “wait, my child”, we can live in full confidence that the Lord will always continue to hear our prayers.