After the breakup of a long-term relationship early last year, I found myself at an odd place in my relationship with God.For years I had been settling for a routine in both my prayer and church life, but when going through such a painful time I realised I needed God more than I ever had done before.
During the 100 hours of prayer and worship run by St Cuthbert’s House of Prayer last Pentecost, I found myself challenged to go deeper in prayer. At first I wasn’t convinced, as I felt that when I had been praying since the breakup I couldn’t even express how I was feeling and that it would just cause me to become upset about everything that had happened. However, I set myself a challenge.For a week I would set the timer on my phone to 20 minutes, and would have to pray that whole time. At first it was awkward and I really struggled to find the words to fill the time. However, on the second day, it became easier. On the third and fourth days I found 20 minutes too short, and so changed the timer to half an hour. By the end of the week I was spending an hour simply talking to God, but also filling the silences by listening. Not only did my relationship with God feel stronger but I felt like I had dealt with all of the worries and fears left in my heart. In particular, He showed me Isaiah 43 v 18-19: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
I found that rather than looking around at the people at church with envy and seeing their blessings as something I didn’t have, prayer focussed my eyes to seeing them as my family, who drew alongside me during a really tough time. We can be blessed individually, but ultimately every single one of us has been given the ultimate blessing – the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. My week of intense prayer showed me this, and I still find it an amazing way of focussing my prayer life when things get too busy. So when we as a church are called to commit to praying for revival, I am always reminded of that week, as it showed me the benefits of committing everything to the Lord through prayer!
"...Ultimately every single one of us has been given the ultimate blessing – the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross"
Blog written by Beth Richardson. Beth leads Belfrey Postgrads, a Belfrey Group for recent graduates and postgraduate students. Beth works at Riding Lights
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