I have accepted that most of my learning functions as a spiral ladder. The same challenge or task keeps coming around again, presented to me many times over. Each time God asks me to see it from a higher point of view and with more clarity. Learning to pray includes a vertical dimension, but also seems fluid, and at times appears just out of reach. When I recognize my expectations to feel more connected afterwards to God, I realize that instant results are not part of His eternal vision. I remind myself that prayer is a journey, sometimes easy, sometimes difficult.
I’ve observed some factors that contribute or hinder my prayer “success”:
- A quiet, undisturbed place.
- My willingness to spend time with God.
- My ability to lift my mind out and up from my daily concerns.
- My ability to place my attention on the voice of God in me felt as my breath.
- My ability to come to the Lord with gratitude and a willingness to listen to what He wants from me.
- My ability to look within myself and to God for answers, not blame others or resist.
This month my prayers have been filled with gratitude. It is as if God has opened my mind and heart to see all the blessings I have been given. Thanking Him is the first step. As my response, I want to live a grateful life with joy and positive thoughts. I want to make it my responsibility to be happy and to pass that happiness onto others because I have been blessed. This too is sometimes easier than at other times.
In my prayers I seem to wrestle with change: physical, emotional, or spiritual change. I want to learn to accept it—to be grateful in the moment and aware that there will be change in the future. It is inevitable. Growth demands change. It’s hard to step up and circle around that spiral ladder. I move from the comfort of the familiar to a new place. It takes effort, but God has a plan for me and I must be willing to reach. So I pray that I will face change with courage and with confidence, knowing that He will be by my side.
The use of prayer as a spiritual growth task has helped me notice how I approach it. With each task, the Spiritual Growth Group energizes me spiritually, mentally, and physically. After each meeting, I feel happy, empowered, and connected to God and my group friends. It is as if God blessed me and gave me just what I needed through others and the work we do in the group. The Spiritual Growth Group inspires me with valuable principles, timely applications, useful insights, and advances me along my spiritual journey. Thank you, fellow travelers, and thank you, Lord.