The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. When I was a kid that verse freaked me out because I thought that it meant I needed to be on bended knee beside my bed 24/7. How in the world was anyone supposed to pull that off? It seemed impossible so I pushed it aside from my thoughts. However, I finally mastered the concept of praying without ceasing in high school. It might not shock you, but I have a bit of nervous personality. High school overwhelmed me in a lot of ways. I had good friends, but I also had crazy friends that did wild and stupid things. Like all youth group kids, I was told to be a light in my school, but that meant I actually had to talk to people I didn’t know all that well. I lived on edge walking from class to class. I prayed a lot. I can go through each season of my life and tell you why it called for extra prayer. There has never been a time in my life where I have had this thing handled. I’ve never once told God, “Thanks, but I’ll things from here.” Nope, I think my prayers are more like, “Seriously, God? Why this? Why now? HELP!” Over the last few months, I’ve tried to take the quieter moments and use them for intercession (praying for the needs of others). I can get so focused on my own life that intercession pulls me out of myself. It reminds me that others struggle and need help too. We’re all human. It softens my heart and helps me to feel more content with my situations because I know that things could worse, so I should be grateful and thankful despite my own difficulties. There are reasons, but today I feel the weight of needing to pray. For my family. For others. There is a tension in my soul with the unknown, the uncertain, the unanswered prayers that surround me. It weighs on me. I feel unsettled. So today feels like a prayer. One big giant prayer. I might repeat it often to myself in conscience thought. It might run in the background of my mind as I go about my tasks. But today needs prayer. Tomorrow will probably need it too. This is the thing – it’s the one thing I can do. I can’t solve my own problems, let alone the problems of my family and friends. I can’t make things better. If I could, I would. Also, not all prayers are about sadness and the complications of life. Some are just for encouragement, hope for the future, and an expectation of things to come. It’s not all doom and gloom. But most of the time, prayer is one way I can be a part of the solution without making a mess of myself. It’s good to pray. It matters. The one verse I turn to the most in my Bible is Philippians 4:6, “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” This sums up it up for me. This is what I need to do. The next verse talks about how doing this brings peace and it’s true. I know that I don’t have this all figured out and that’s okay. God does. He has my situations and my loved ones in his hands. He values their hearts and he knows their fears. He is their comfort, their strength, their joy. And he is mine. I go into prayer with a worried mind and if I truly let go and hand these needs over to God, I finish with a quiet spirit and a calm mind. I need that today. I need that deep, rich peace that passes understanding. I remember that God can use all things for his good. He is in this. And I am thankful. It’s amazing how prayer turns anxiety into praise. I’ll be honest; my prayers are very rarely ever answered in an instant. I have to continue to live that unsettled feeling, but I will not let it bend my belief that God has got this covered. He knows. And that concludes this rambling blog. I hope that maybe it encourages you to stop in the middle of the crazy moments and send up a prayer. Keep doing that. Keep praying. It’s worth it. It’s a sweet fragrance to God. He loves to hear his kiddos talking to him. I also need to live with the silence and listen for his response. It’s a two way street this relationship with God. It’s about talking and it’s about listening. So, since I’ve been really good at talking today, maybe it’s time to quiet down and listen now.