Several months ago I was at church, my mind occupying the space that sits somewhere between listening intently and day dreaming (I’m only human after all). Little did I know, the upcoming homily would drastically change my perspective and approach to prayer.
I had been going through a rough time and after quitting my second job (yes, I quit two jobs in three months because I’m just that awesome), I was in a fog. This was a true “Western World Problem” because really, my life is pretty fantastic. I have a wonderful family, a supportive spouse and fulfilling marriage, and despite my new found skillset of quitting work (too bad I can’t make a living at it because I’d be a millionaire by now), I was still able to meet all of my financial obligations (insert high five to my better half). Nothing in my life was bad, and deep down I knew this but I was struggling with my next career move. The scariest aspect was that I no longer trusted myself. I have always followed my gut and intuition, but this time it had led me here: to a place of total uncertainty and doubt.
During his homily, Father said that if we want something we should simply ask God. Now let’s not get carried away…I don’t think “I want to win the lottery” requests are exactly what the priest had in mind. My humble interpretation of the message was that I should request God show me my path and reveal the many blessings he has in store for me. I have always felt uncomfortable with this idea. I have been so blessed with all of my needs met (and many of my wants too) and asking for anything more seemed purely selfish.
But despite this (and accepting that the priest probably knows more than I – go figure), I prayed. I prayed for God to reveal the path designed for me and for the courage to accept whatever it was. I prayed that I would learn the lessons in store for me no matter how painful and that I would receive all of God’s blessings.
Slowly, things began to change. It was almost as if I had come to a heightened sense of awareness. The lessons and answers had always been right in front of me, but the fog had clouded my vision. It took a little help from a higher power nudging me in a specific direction but clarity had arrived. Even my pathetic, seemingly unimportant (at least in my eyes) request had been answered.
At its most basic level, prayer is simply dialogue and when you look at it from that perspective it doesn’t seem so scary. Pray for God to reveal the blessings he has planned for you. Pray during the good times and the bad. Pray for acceptance of your unique path and the lessons you are destined to find. I learned that no matter how silly our problem, God wants us to talk to him and wants to help carry our burdens. Most importantly, God desires that we experience all he has in store for us; we just have to be willing to ask and ready to listen.