In November, my pastor decided to engage some ministry leaders and lay people from our congregation in a 40 day prayer challenge.
The point of the challenge is to help us get more in tune with God, and Gods will for us in the coming year. Now I was hella skeptical for a few reasons: 1. Because ya girl has been praying and feeling like God hasn’t been listening to me at all. 2. I just got back in the swing of church and haven’t quite found my stride yet. I’m taking my time, or dragging my feet…. either way I’m skeptical
But this is something I wanted to see the end of. I wanted to finish this. Now to be clear I had no expectation to be perfect at this, but skeptically, I said yes.
So I bought the book “Draw The Circle : The 40 Day Prayer Challenge” by Mark Batterson. I started reading .
The first day is all about a prayer schedule. I am a Pisces in the most basic of ways meaning that I have no concept of time. Nothing In my life had been on a schedule let alone praying regularly. I usually, like most of us, pray when I need something. So figuring out when to pray was difficult . At first I thought about what was convenient for me which is very selfish. So I checked myself quickly. And thought of a way to show God just how serious I was about this. So I went back what my folks used to do. I set an alarm for 5:00 am, and made sure I got out of bed and on my knees. Wild right? But since this challenge was calling for us to step outside of our comfort zone it made sense. After all our ancestors sang ” When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun, O Lord have mercy on me”
Honestly, I needed some mercy, From June till about the last week of December I struggled with suicidal ideation. There was so much disappointment, embarrassment, and disrespect I honestly didn’t want to live anymore. I was really conflicted and worried about what the next thing was, so having this challenge as a space to work on my relationship with God was truly a blessing.
Very rarely do we pray to say thank you, or pray to make sure our dreams and aspirations are aligned with Gods. I read on I realized that the challenge is really meant for you to work on your own prayer relationship with God. So as we met for day one I was attentive. I listened . And journaled immediately.
Now to be honest the first 2 days were not easy, It was the holiday weekend and my family was stressing me. I was missing and reminiscing about how holidays used to be when I was younger. Nostalgia is always intense for me, and its not always easy for me to come back from. But I remembered the challenge and prayed that morning . I thanked God that I had a place to go that wasn’t with my family. I prayed a huge prayer of thanks for the family I had created.
As the days went on and I prayed harder, things got easier and I saw the ways in which God was actually moving. How God was setting me up, what habits I needed to change. The first 40 days were eye opening and transformative. Now that’s I am on day 63, on the road to 100 ( most will be stopping at 80) I realize that your walk with God really deserves to be journaled. It deserves your attention, and it deserves work.
I suggest everyone get a little closer to the higher power, whatever you may call it. You may just learn things about yourself, and your vision, and what God actually wants from you.