What I Learned About Prayer & How it Helps Me
I am newly, self-employed. If you would have asked me a year ago, what I thought about the term, “self-employed”, I would have painted a rosy, utopian picture of someone that has everything figured out.
Nearly 2 months into my journey of entrepreneurship, I know that it is not easy. It took a lot of faith, and self-trust to finally make the move to quit my full-time job, and it took a lot of prayers. In fact, I find myself praying today, more than ever.
I left my job on February 28th, 2020. The United States had not yet fully realized the threat of COVID-19. Churches and schools were still open, Starbucks was still the place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee, and we could go to the grocery store without wearing a mask. So, naturally, as far as the economy was concerned, I had nothing to worry about.
Two weeks later, the story was quite different. The state in which I reside, Kentucky, issued a “Stay-Home Order”. Schools were ordered to close, church services went virtual, and quick "non-essential" runs to the store stopped.
Before the pandemic, my business was doing well, and customers were happy. I was learning new things each day, and I was eager to find new ways to improve my business. I was just getting comfortable with my new journey. And then entered uncertainty.
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22 (NIV)
I will admit that I do not like uncertainty, at all. I would imagine that most people also dislike uncertainty. I would rather have a well-drafted plan, whenever possible, and along with that plan, an alternative “back-up” plan for safe measure.
The stock market took a horrible dive and buyer confidence was shaken. I had no idea how a pandemic would affect my business. After, worrying for much too long, I turned to prayer.
Prayer is the best tool for calming fear, doubt, and uncertainty.
I spent hours worrying and thinking that I made a bad decision about becoming “self-employed”. I mean, who was I to think that I could be a successful entrepreneur, especially during a time like this? My self-doubt was overwhelming, the uncertainty of the world was overwhelming, and the fear of failure was also overwhelming.
One morning, after checking my personal emails, business emails, and after scrolling a few social media sites, I felt an urgency to pray. After getting the kids started on their daily routine, I resorted to the only place in our home where I am unbothered. The shower. This is where I pray. I turn on the hot water and step in. I talk to God about anything that happens to be on my mind. Which often is a lot.
On this day, most of my prayer centered around the uncertainty that I had left my full-time job. I also talked with him about my fear of failing and my concern about this new virus that the world was fighting.
I have heard it said before that Christians should not fear. It’s unfair to say that Christians should not fear, have doubt, or be uncertain. Fear is a natural response; everyone becomes fearful at some point in their life. However, as Christians, we should not allow fear to paralyze us.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4 (NIV)
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. Psalm 94:19 (NIV)
After talking with God that morning, my burdens of fear and uncertainty lifted. I am thankful for that conversation with God. I am trusting and activating my faith in Him. I am learning that the power of prayer is real and essential in my life.
Prayer is simply our communication with God. It is a personal conversation with our creator. God knows everything about us, and He knows our future. Because God is all-knowing, prayer is not used to inform Him about anything. He knows it all. Prayer is about making God the center focus of our life.
What I Learned About Prayer
- I learned that God wants to hear from me. The Psalmist, David publicly acknowledged and praised God for personally hearing his prayer. But God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Psalm 66:19 (NIV)
- I learned that He wants to be invited into my life, each day. Whoever believes in the Lord will have eternal life, and access to Christ. This includes daily communication with Him through prayer. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV)
- I learned that prayer is essential to success. Success is simply achieving a goal that you have set for yourself. In order to achieve our goals, we must be consistent and persistent. God is our source for all things and without Him, we are neglecting our source of life. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
- I learned that communication with God is the most essential communication to have in my life. It is good to have a strong support system in your life. Whether that consists of your spouse, family, or friends, a strong support system is beneficial in many ways. But, no one compares to God. He is always available, and His love is everlasting. I have heard it explained like this, “Prayer is our “vehicle” to God. If we want to get to God, all we must do is pray. I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)
Prayer is essential for Christians and is the most basic practice in our Christian life. Prayer has helped me manage my level of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. Daily communication with God through prayer helps to strengthen our faith in God.
But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Jude 1:20-21 (NIV)
Billy Graham, asked this question, "Have you ever said, 'Well, all we can do now is pray?"...When we come to the end of ourselves, we come to the beginning of God. "
We are humans and we have a limit, but God is limitless. When our efforts are not enough, God may use that opportunity to show how great He is.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
-Until next time.
Blessings to you and yours,
Ashley Jean White
Blogger for Wonder Woo