Prayer is one of those strange things God wants us to do. Strange because we aren't sure it is really doing anything. Or at least that is how I feel sometimes. Recently I have found myself in relationships with several people who are making choices that aren't giving them life's best. (Note: I am the same way. It is just easier to see it in others, oops.)
I found myself wondering if I was saying enough, encouraging enough, loving enough. Surely there was more I could do to get them to see why God gives us certain instructions. He doesn't just come up with a list of guidelines because he rolled the dice one day up in heaven and poof: The Ten Commandments! He created this earth perfect for us. It is our perfect place for us, his creation. We fit it well. There is a reason we love it. A reason we swell with pure contentment when we see that perfect sunset or climb that high mountain. (Sorry if this is too cliche'.) We are supposed to feel this way. He made it with us in mind. And he created us to be in his image. If we are in his image, when we act outside of his image, it doesn't work out so well for us. There are certain consequences that follow as a natural result.
Anyway, I found myself frustrated that my dear friends weren't living fully into this image of God. Recently I have been given a few close friends who speak boldly into my life and speak truth to me, and one of these friends pointed out that I had in fact done all I needed to do...except one thing: pray. And then it hit me, prayer was my act of being in God's image. It was my tangible way of saying that I did believe that God works, that I was submitting myself to God and handing my worries to him. This was, in fact, an act of worship.
So I did it and am doing it. I'm seeing the Holy Spirit work, I'm seeing God-sightings in these situations and it makes my heart praise! It is good to be open to the workings of God. It is a major faith boost, which is really what I needed right now in my life. God is truly good and knows where we are all at intimately. It was good to be reminded of this. It was good to be reminded that God is all-powerful and all-loving.
I've been feeling guilty for not being in a structure Bible Study, guilt I carry with me from my evangelical upbringing, but this recent God-sighting helped me realize that this life-lesson was probably taught to me in some study somewhere along the way, but I didn't really learn it, know it. The best Bible study God could give me is just being in loving relationship with others. For this I am humbled.