I attended a small faith group last night and we watched a video that really hit me in a lot of different places regarding my faith. A point got brought up that God should be treated like the most valuable and famous contact in our phones, and what do we do with that contact? It is kinda pointless to just let it sit there. Is God in your favorites? Hopefully your #1 most called?
The past few weeks, I have been really trying to delve even deeper into my relationship with God. I’m sure not afraid to talk about my faith, even on the blog, but I do think it is something God is calling me to do just a bit more often. I say this because I was sitting in my pew at the daily 5:15 Mass today and our pastor was about one sentence into his homily and my fingers were practically shaking to type out everything he was saying. It was one of those moments where I wanted to walk up to the alter and just start going OFF about everything he was bringing up, in a positive manner of course. Have you ever been sitting in Mass and maybe you’ve been having a bad day or are going through a difficult situation and it seems like every single reading, song, and word spoken at Mass is directly chosen for you? That was me today. I think it is the ultimate coolest thing that God works in that way and that everything said probably related to everyone in every pew in a somewhat different way. So here I am finally getting to type out a little bit of what hit me right in all the good spots today:
It started with the first reading for today:
Yahweh then said to Moses, ‘Go down at once, for your people whom you brought here from Egypt have become corrupt.
8 They have quickly left the way which I ordered them to follow. They have cast themselves a metal calf, worshipped it and offered sacrifice to it, shouting, “Israel, here is your God who brought you here from Egypt!” ‘
9 Yahweh then said to Moses, ‘I know these people; I know how obstinate they are!
10 So leave me now, so that my anger can blaze at them and I can put an end to them! I shall make a great nation out of you instead.’
12 Why should the Egyptians say, “He brought them out with evil intention, to slaughter them in the mountains and wipe them off the face of the earth?” Give up your burning wrath; relent over this disaster intended for your people.
13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to whom you swore by your very self and made this promise: “I shall make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven, and this whole country of which I have spoken, I shall give to your descendants, and it will be their heritage for ever.”
14 Yahweh then relented over the disaster which he had intended to inflict on his people.
I was sitting in my pew and thinking about everything that had been said and I won’t lie, I was a little mad at God when I heard it read. God wanted to just wipe out the people of Egypt?! Didn’t He promise that He would never harm His people like that again? Why did it take a mere human like Moses to convince Him otherwise?! That’s when the priest started his homily and the video I watched last night all came full circle and everything hit me like a train. God wants us to pray. God wants us to have a living relationship with Him. God wants us to ask Him questions. God wants a relationship with us, not simply a business partnership.
God wanted Moses to pray to Him, to debate with Him, to ask Him questions. He knew Moses was frustrated with God’s want to wipe out the people just like I was! God wanted to see if Moses was going to treat God like the friend He was and push himself to wonder if this was truly the right choice. Now you, like I also was, are probably thinking something along the lines of, “who the heck am I to question God’s choices?!” and you’re right. God has our best intentions at heart and wants nothing but the best for His people. He loves us, but that being said, He wants us to engage with Him. The best way to do that? Prayer.
Take a look at Moses and the way he prayed to God. He talked to God and vouched for his people! He knew how powerful God is and knew that if he took the steps needed that God would answer his prayers! I think we can all learn a little bit about how to pray from the way Moses did in this reading and also from a few points that I learned last night.
Prayer should be three things: real, relaxed, and revealing.
Prayer should be REAL: In scripture we will hear a lot about “Pharisees”, in other words, people of the time of Jesus that were VERY “high up” in the day in the religious world and were VERY proud of the fact they prayed. They were very boastful and very showy in how they prayed; publicly and loudly, reciting the same prayers day to day. However, they weren’t real. They prayed because it was a ritual, it wasn’t a conversation with God. Sure they were loud, but their point wasn’t heard. Sure they had fancy prayers praising God, but they never got to really know Him. God should be our #1 contact, but never just our life-alert button. We GET, not HAVE to make contact with God. So when you do pray, make sure you are doing it to fulfill a relationship with Him, not just because you need something and think a quick Hail Mary will do the trick. Sure, God hears those prayers too, but you will so much better understand why you even needed to pray if you had that steady relationship with God.
Prayer should be RELAXED: I write, a lot. (duh.) Writing is my love language and it is what makes me feel good and let all my emotions out. I seriously feel like I am going to explode some days if my hand hasn’t put pen to paper. So naturally, writing is a big part of how I feel most comfortable praying. When starting to really develop a relationship with God that was going to be more personal, I knew that I was going to have to do more than just go to Mass and say a prayer before bed. This is where journaling came in. I now can’t go to bed without doing it. What started off this semester as a psychology notebook (the notes are online parents don’t fret) is now a beat up mess of everything that has ever happened to me. I tell God everything from what I ate for dinner to why I am frustrated to how I am excited to see someone to how I’ve had the worst day ever. I truly started to feel so much more relaxed while praying when I realized I can do it in through writing, which is what makes me comfortable, instead of what I used to do, which was just a quick sign of the cross and from there a shot in the dark that one of the prayers I learned in kindergarten would do the trick for my math test. Another point that hit me hard is “worry is the death of prayer.” SO TRUE. It’s like when I call my mom and she’s busy at work and I’m wanting to talk about my day (oh wow, funny how life reverses on you while growing up…) and it is a quick 2 mins and a “I’ll call you back later.” Even though I know she’s busy, I also don’t feel super fulfilled after that phone call. Granted, even though I swear sometimes she’s wonder woman, she’s human, and gets busy like the rest of us. God? As unbelievable as it is, is NEVER too busy to listen to us. & there is NEVER a bad time to give Him a call! He WANTS to have this chill relationship with us where we can come to Him for EVERYTHING…which leads me into the last point….
Prayer should be REVEALING: Okay so I have a hunch that this is the hardest one for most people to get over and to really go deep with their conversations and prayers to God, I know it was for me. I had this dumb theory in the back of my mind forever that if I never told people the bad things in my life or if I just kinda tried to forget them that they would go away. Ya know, ignorance is bliss, it’s not real until you say it’s real type of thing. Here’s where I went wrong: I thought it was this way with God too. Don’t go to confession…then God will know everything I did wrong. Newsflash: He kinda already knows. Everything. When I made that mental switch that I can’t hide anything from God, talking and journaling to Him got A LOT easier. Start now and STOP telling God what you think He “wants” to hear. Stop leaving out the problems in your life. That’s what He wants to help you with, but just like any relationship, you need to communicate. If you’re mad?! Tell God. If you’re frustrated with what He seems to be putting you through?! Tell God. If you’re questioning a path He is bringing you down?! ASK HIM ABOUT IT! Learn to talk to God like you talk to everyone else, but know that He will never judge you, never leave you, or never do you wrong for something you say. Be revealing with God, be real, be raw, be authentic. He knows every single turn you take and trust me, I’m sure He questions us and the decisions we make sometimes too! I made myself laugh the other day (I think I’m really funny, FYI) and was journaling about a decision that I had made that probably wasn’t the best, and God had given me plenty of warning signs not to do it, but here I am, small human bean thinking I know better. I could almost picture God sitting in The Office set and looking at the hidden camera just like on the show and asking “why Ally? I told you so!” Okay yeah, I did just attempt to spiritualize a tv show. Quite honestly, I think God has a fairly good sense of humor. He has too after just being able to shake off and laugh and teach us from some of the crazy decisions we make.
So those are three ways I really want to start impacting my own prayer life and really encourage you to do the same. This post was a lil lengthy, so I hope you’ve made it this far, BUT I also hope you bookmark this or screenshot parts that stood out or share it with a friend. I really really really think that how you pray and how you talk to God can impact your relationship with Him and quite frankly, change your life.
Lemme leave ya with a quick one of my new favorite quotes:
“I would rather be who I am, for it is what God chose to make me, than the most glorious creature I can think of. For to have been thought about, born in God’s thoughts, and then made by God is the dearest, most precious, most grandest thing.”
Happy Friday-Eve my friends!
Until next time, xoxo, Ally