7 Candid Tips for Getting Rid of Prayer Envy
Prayer Envy is real y’all. It’s that stirring of discontentment in one’s own prayer life produced by a longing to have the powerful style of prayer observed in another. I talked about my prayer envy before, so this time, I wanted to provide a few tips on how to get rid of prayer envy, just in case you find yourself giving Sister So-N-So the side eye at the next small groups meeting. So, here we go…
Help! I Have Prayer Envy!
I never was the pray out loud kind of girl. I felt like if God doesn’t speak audibly to me, then I probably shouldn’t speak audibly to Him. I figured it was talking to yourself if you’re talking out loud, as opposed to talking within yourself as a spiritual channel accessed solely by the Father.
So the first time I was asked to pray, I’m pretty sure I uttered the words, “Out loud?” Praying out loud terrified me because I knew I would be viewed as a lesser Christian who had no real value. Nothing to bring to the church. Just useless. Probably not even a real Christian. Just some fake, fraudulent facade of a Christian with no prayer life and no power. A nightmare happening before my very eyes.
I had been found out.
Why is Prayer So Difficult?
I grew up in church, but I never learned how to pray. At that church, prayer was a ritual of memorized chants and 90-second moments of silence to throw in your own two cents. I never really gave much thought to what I was saying. Because when you memorize, you don’t have to think. You just do what you already know to do. No thought needed.
Suffice it to say there was no learning how to pray. Not in the way that I think of prayer now. It wasn’t a conversation with God. It was lip service to God. It wasn’t necessarily heartfelt. Honestly, it was mind-numbing. Literally, my mind would go blank because the memory muscles would kick in. I wasn’t praying to God.
I was an autopilot with God.
Clean My Heart
Going to the grocery store with a 7-year-old, a 2-year-old, and a 5-month-old is too adventurous for me. I decided quite some time ago to do the bulk of our grocery shopping online to save time and sanity. Not because I’m reticent. But after I sit an infant car seat and a rambunctious toddler in the shopping cart, there’s only enough room for a bunch of bananas, a bag of Goldfish, and a loaf of bread.
So I ClickList it.
I order online and pick it up on the way home after from Christian’s school. It’s convenient because my card is on file, they substitute unavailable items, and they load the groceries in your trunk. Easy button pressed.
Guard My Mouth
I’ve always been fairly opinionated. Ok…not fairly, more like strongly opinionated. When I feel like I know what I’m talking about or have a different perspective that may bring some clarity and understanding to the forefront, I can get passionate. Stubborn. Outspoken even. And it’s all because of that loudmouth voice in my head, telling me to say this and interject that and push back until they stand down. ‘Don’t give up until you’ve been heard and understood,’ it says. ‘And felt,’ it demands. It always wants to be felt.
Hold My Arms
I remember this one time, at band camp, our band director decided to hold a contest. Between all the marching drills and the memorization of sheet music, he decided we needed something fun to break up the monotony. Not exactly sure what the prize was, but the challenge was to hold your arms straight out, perpendicular to your body, for as long as you can. You were counted out if your arms dipped down too much or, of course, if you slapped them down to your sides. They had to be in a straight line or you were disqualified and had to sit down.
I remember desperately wanting to win, for whatever reason. I mean, did I really need bragging rights at band camp?
Help My Unbelief
If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, I’ll be honest. I’ve been exhausted. Drained by commitment, emptied of all passion. I’ve been filled with drudgery where there used to be delight. My calling got exhausting.
And to continue in that honesty, one of the main reasons why the calling gets exhausting is because there’s a tinge of unbelief in my heart. Okay…maybe more than a tinge. Maybe more like a smige…or a morsel…or a spec. Alright…maybe it’s more than that…more like a smorgasbord, a plethora, a multitude. Maybe the level of unbelief grows to such an aptitude of doubt that any sort of belief has been all but blotted out. Where the heart was once full of hope, excitement, enthusiasm and optimism, it’s now been stained with doubt, distain, discouragement, and pessimism. When unbelief floods the heart, belief seems to have nowhere to go, but possibly the head. And when belief is relegated strictly to the head, exhaustion sets in.
On any given day, I can find at least an hour and thirty-three minutes of time to scroll through my timeline on Facebook, get lost in an endless video circuit on YouTube, and fantasize over the latest finds on Pinterest. Without a doubt, I can manage to fit another 2 hours and sixteen minutes to watch a movie from Redbox, find something interesting OnDemand, or stare mindlessly at every show on HGTV.
And what does this do for me?