“Did you pray?” came the words from my husband as I grumbled about not being able to find inspiration to write the blog post. I sat, staring at the blank screen as the curser thumped waiting for me to type something. “Of course, I did,” I thought. Then, I realized my prayer was lukewarm; more of a command of God, rather than an ask, “OK God, let’s do this.”
Humbled and embarrassed by this realization, I closed my eyes and said a real prayer this time. “Sorry God, I am feeling rushed and overwhelmed, and I think I may be rushing you, too. Please forgive me for not being in the moment with you and letting you guide my thoughts. Please, Lord, take over and help me to write something meaningful that gives purpose and brings you praise at the same time.”
It seemed almost as soon as I opened my eyes that the ideas came rushing in and inspiration struck. Prayer is powerful… and the M&M’s that my husband brought to me to aid in my focus didn’t hurt, either.
The sad truth is; lately it seems my prayer life in general has been, as I described above, lukewarm. I have been just going through the motions. I liken it to “quiet quitting”; the catch-phrase society uses to describe the complacency that happened when more of us started working from home. ‘Quiet quitting’ doesn’t actually mean you’re quitting or giving up completely; it just means you are doing the bare minimum to get by—doing just enough. No one would notice the change, so you think. You lose connection to your work, your purpose, and the thing you used to do that brought joy. It all slowly drifts, becoming not as important to you as it once was.
What an awful realization to know this is what my prayer life has become; complacent. As I started to reflect deeper on this, I needed to look in all the areas of my life where I had been keeping God at a distance, and ask myself (and God) what was really going on. Back in prayer I went, because I do believe inviting him in is the key that can unlock the secret places in your soul. “God, I’m not sure what’s been going on with me, but I am not feeling connected. Please search my heart to show me where the blockage is.”
Rising Above Fear Through Prayer
Fear. I have been feeling gripped by fear. Life is changing, kids are growing, needs are increasing, and my season of life is morphing into something new. It feels scary and uncertain. It was shown to me very clearly through this time of reflective prayer and just sitting with the Lord that, when life seems uncertain, I let the fear clobber my faith. I forget to whom I belong, why I am here (my purpose), and I forget that God’s already got it all worked out. I get “stuck.” I don’t know what to do, so I do just the bare minimum to get by.
I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Shannon L. Adler,
“Fear is the glue that keeps you stuck- Faith is the solvent that sets you FREE.”
I realize it’s high time to let my faith peel all the sticky residue that has been keeping me captive, and let God be who he is, so I sit with him longer, and feel the connection I have been missing. I invite him to do a new thing in me as I pray, “I’m here God, and I’m available and ready.” I say that simple prayer to let him know (and myself, too) that I am willing to trust, and I am ready for either my next assignment or to be OK in this season of life. Then, I follow that up with, “Please don’t let me go.”
Be Courageous in the Face of Fear
Fear is normal, and it’s part of who we are, but we can’t let it make us complacent. We are called to be courageous in the face of fear and uncertainty, and keep moving forward in faith and in trust. We can look to Esther, a woman of faith, who was asked to do something hard—something that might even cause death. She walked boldly in faith and justice to do what is right and relies on the Lord for strength and help. We can also look at an example of Jeremiah, who was faced with adversity and felt betrayed by everyone around him (cf. 20:11-13). Instead of succumbing to the fear of what is to come, he, too, leaned into the trust that his faith provided, and he recounted the promises of God,
“But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion: my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph.”
Fear can challenge us, giving faith the opportunity to make us stronger and build us up. Fear can be a provider of opportunity to lean into faith; and fear, as in my case, can oftentimes bring us into a deeper realization that what we need is just an earnest prayer away.
Before writing this blog, I can say that I didn’t know what was lurking in my heart, and I am always amazed that God will use ordinary things, like writer’s block, to show you where you need to lean on him more.
Rick Renner states that, “Dedication is writing your name at the bottom of a blank sheet of paper and handing it to the Lord for Him to fill in.” I would add that faith helps you to trust Him to fill in the blank paper, knowing it will only bring forth good fruits that provide purpose and praise.
“Pray, hope, and don’t worry”- St. Padre Pio
Mandi-bre Watson is a passionate follower of Jesus, a devoted wife, and a mother of 4 amazing children. As a writer and motivational speaker, she tries to be a beacon of hope as she points people to the Savior.
In addition, she owns a small marketing company that helps other small businesses and is also the owner of an online boutique, Veiled in Love, where she sells her handmade veils. She is a certified Spiritual Companion through Oblate School of Theology & an active member of St. Francis of Assisi Church.
Mandi-bre is a Missionary of Hope for Pilgrim Center of Hope through its ministry of events, including the Catholic Women’s Conference and as a member of our Speaker Team.