I have found peace through prayer. In my daily walk through life, I reach out to God often, explaining my very mortal emotions. I know He already understands these things, but my time in counsel with Him is essential to my own wellbeing. He hears me and understands my heart, my intentions, my experiences. He is the perfect listener.
I remember one of these daily prayers vividly. I had been asked to teach Singing Time to the primary children at our church. Now, in my opinion, if public speaking is one of the top ten fears, public singing has got to be exponentially worse. To say I felt anxious about this assignment would be an understatement. To admit that my anxiety during those first few weeks was somewhat a hindrance to the normal functioning of my life would be a little TMI, so I won’t say that…
I remember feeling like those two hours of church where I was in charge of singing with the kids would stretch out before me. Picture melting clocks in the desert. I think Salvador Dali may have been a Primary Music Leader.
I was so wrapped up in my fears that I started to feel a bit off my rocker. I knew God could see me struggling with this. I knew He knew my heart and my limitations. I knew He could fill in my rough places. So, my prayer was natural and instinctual, a child reaching.
His answer in this case was immediate. Into my mind popped an image. It came so vividly and unexpectedly that I felt myself break out in a grin. In my mind’s eye, I was seated on a grassy knoll in Austria, wearing a charming tailored folk dress, strumming a guitar on my knee. The loving and expectant faces of the children seated before me did not belong to the Von Trapp Family. Instead, they were my primary children, all singing together in harmony. Our voices floated on the alpine air. My heart squeezed with the happiness and silliness of that scene. The message was clear. I could channel my inner Maria Von Trap and really enjoy this assignment.
In the following weeks, His vivid answer to my prayer brought peace. Every time I felt that anxiety clawing it’s way into my thoughts, I purposefully pushed those thoughts away with my idillic image of The Sound of Music. Belatedly, I realized that this kind of visualization exercise was a proven self-help tool a professional counselor might have suggested. I felt amazed anew that The Counselor, The Mighty God, The Prince of Peace, had suggested it to me. To little old me with my very little problem in a very big world full of bigger problems.
When I pray, when I really pray with faith in Christ, I feel Him walking beside me, even in the details of my life. Is this not in part what is meant by the scripture stating:
“And he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.”
He is there as a constant. This small example is one drop in the ocean of answered prayers that have shaped my life. I have prayed over a boyfriend/bestfriend love triangle, over a crisis of faith when my world seemed tipped on it’s end, over hundreds of parenting questions and subsequent pleas for patience or relief, over job opportunities and financial obligations, over decisions as great as marriage and child-bearing, over points of doctrine I wanted to believe but couldn’t feel yet in my heart, over treasures of faith-even hidden treasures, over inspiration for a difficult conversation with a friend, over the plans He has for my children, over my very soul and the foundations of my faith. He has been there, my perfect listener through great and small. He has never left me comfortless.
My testimony this Easter, and always, is that He lives to walk beside us. Little by little, day by day, challenge by challenge He is there to succor us. Through Prayer, we invite God into the details of our lives. Through prayer, He answers with peace.