Am I Praying to God or Worrying to God?

Hello my friends! Today I’m sharing a special post from Caroline Rothschild, my daughter-in-law. She’s an incredibly wise young woman with tons of charm and insight. She married our oldest son, Clayton, last year. They now live in Houston, TX. She and Clayton met at Baylor University, where she graduated with a Professional Writing degree. She went on to receive a masters degree in Theology from Truett Seminary. She has a great blog with a growing following and I know you will love her as much as I do! Today she’s talking about how she’s learning the value of true intimacy with God through prayer. Can you relate to her story?

I start.

“Dear God …”

It starts so pure. My intentions are genuine. I start so eager to submit to what He has for me.

I pray.

I want to know what He has for me; where He is taking me in the life; what He’s up to with all these bumps I seem to be bouncing along.

I start to think about some of the bumps that seem to be piling up, and all of the sudden, all the bumps have formed into a mountain. The mountain is rocky – insurmountable. I stare at it awhile, dwelling on how ill-equipped I am to climb it. How will I ever make something of all this?

I think I’m praying, but though I start with “Dear God,” I’m not praying.

I’m worrying.

Rocking chairs

I start to envision God meeting me at the base of the mountain. He splits the trees, and in true Israelite fashion, I march up that mountain. I stand at the top of the mountain and make God famous as I proclaim all the ways He made the impossible possible. I think of all the ways God will answer prayers and make something of the mess that I am. I connect the dots that God isn’t concerned about connecting.

I think I’m praying, but though I start with “Dear God,” I’m not praying.

I’m writing my own ending.

Lately, I’m starting a lot of sentences “Dear God.” I know that I need Him. I know myself; I know without His guidance I chase those things which glorify only me, rooted in selfishness. I know that this life doesn’t make sense without Him.

I know that if I rely on affirmation from others, I will feel like a failure.

I know that if I rely on pleasure to keep alive, I will feel empty.

I know that if I rely on success, I will spend my whole life wanting more.

I know there’s something beyond me.

Lately, God has interrupted my prayers saying, “You’re not praying.”

It’s as if we’re sitting at the table together. I start a conversation with Him – yearning to know Him – but as soon as I don’t know where the conversation might go, I get up. I like answers; I like plans. I prefer resolve. I walk around the restaurant talking to others; they always answer me.

God’s glorified when I know Him – when I sit at His table. When I just am with Him. Talking and listening, not worrying and planning. [Click to Tweet]

Worry always agrees with me that God might not know what He’s doing.

Self-reliance always teams up with pride and agrees that they know what God should do.

As I walk around, I miss the very thing I need; I miss that God is sitting there, waiting for me.

He’s not showing me the 5-year-plan because He’s not too worried about plans; He’s got them covered.

He’s not explaining the “whys” behind all my questions because He knows they’ll all make sense one day. He knows that my thinking cannot fathom those mysteries right now.

His end goal with my life is not to make something of me. He’s already made me.

His end goal isn’t my comfort and ease. He knows suffering allows an eternal connection between He and I.

He’s concerned about His glory, and because He’s a gracious and good God, He makes a way for me to be part of this story. He’s glorified when I know Him – when I sit at His table. When I just am with Him. Talking and listening – not worrying and planning.

And so I start again,

“Dear God,”

And again.

And again.

… because I’m learning to pray.

He’s patient.

Do you have a favorite verse that calms worry and reminds you of God’s sovereignty? Caroline and I would love to hear it. Leave a comment below.


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