pursuing prayer & peace
Writing this post didn't start now, but actually about a year ago this December, when I asked my grandma how to become a prayer warrior.
She's known for always praying for everyone else, so I was not surprised when she said that "all through the day" she talks to God. Her response led me to research, and while doing so I found an ebook called, "Becoming a Prayer Warrior" by Elizabeth Alves.
I had the ebook sent to my email and left it sitting in my inbox for months, until this summer, when I hit what had felt like rock bottom.
I had just come back from the Philippines in May, trying to move past the incredibly difficult two month COVID-19 quarantine lockdown and the emergency response of teaching online, where we were not allowed to leave our houses. But I wasn't moving past anything; I was actually suppressing everything.
I was anxious all the time, feeling like I was in danger. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't sleep, I could barely exist in my own daily life. Nightmares woke me almost every night and kept me awake because of the horrible things I was seeing in my mind--it came to the point where I was afraid to go to sleep.
Then I had my first panic attack and everything changed. Shortly after that I was diagnosed with adjustment disorder, anxiety, depression, and my nightmare sleeping disorder.
I knew I was never going to get through any of this without God, and I had not spent time with him in months. I had felt too anxious and overwhelmed in my mind to even say a prayer--opening my Bible felt like the heaviest of tasks, so I would quit before I even began.
So, I took a quick look at my life and my fragile state and suddenly remembered that prayer ebook I had never read. I believe it was the holy spirit that prompted me to search through my cluttered inbox to find it.
After doing so, I read with an urgency I had never experienced. The only way I can explain this (or maybe it's just because I'm reading this book with my students right now) is that it's like when Harry Potter first finds out he's a wizard and has magical powers. Elizabeth Alves was my Hagrid, telling me of the deep and divine communication that can happen between my soul and God, and I was little Harry, struck with awe.
I very quickly realized there was much more to prayer than I had known and I couldn't believe it. Why weren't people speaking more deeply on this topic?
I needed to know more, so I searched for more books and came across one entitled, "The Hour That Changes the World" by Dick Eastman (read my post about this book here). I read it through once, and I was convicted and inspired and knew I needed to immediately read it again, only taking notes the second time. I now have a journal filled with notes just on prayer, and I'm not stopping here.
In his book, Eastman claims, "Prayer does not require advanced education...but prayer is more. Prayer is the vision of the believer. It gives eyes to our faith. In prayer we see beyond ourselves and focus spiritual eyes on God's infinite power."
That's just it--prayer is MORE. It's more than the shallow prayers I pray when I need something or before I have a meal. It's more than the typical "Lord, help me get through this day" prayer, although those prayers can be honest and heartfelt. It is "divine communication" with the creator of the universe.
This blog will be used as a space for growth--both spiritually and mentally, as I strive to dig deeper into what prayer with God really means and finding my ultimate peace in Him. I don't claim to know anything high and mighty. I don't have a doctorate in theology. All I have is this hunger deep in my soul to pursue and know God in a whole new way that I didn't know was possible, and I hope you will be there to join me so we can be pursuers together.