I’m out in the desert right now. I’ve never been able to sense you very well, and now I’m stranded away from all of my friends. My family is distant even though we live in the same house. I feel so alone. I thought that maybe my friends were your emissaries, that their love was your love. But now you’ve let me fail and fall away from their presence.
God, I need encouragement and guidance, but I don’t know how to find it. Reading the Bible feels dry. It’s so familiar that it feels mundane; the writing style is so weird (because it’s been translated from other languages and cultures) that it doesn’t feel like a person wrote it. It doesn’t feel personal or alive. I can’t hear your voice inside me, or at least I can’t tell it apart from my own thoughts.
I need discipline to work hard. I need inspiration to work on. I need determination to fight sin. I need clarity to see the idols and rebellions in my life. I need vision to pursue. I need hope to fight off despair. I need dedication to you.
You are powerful. Your love is amazing, beyond anything any human is capable of. Nothing is worth more than to live in your love. Help me to not just believe these facts, but to feel them and be driven by them. I wish that I would praise you all day long in my thoughts. Help me not to take your grace for granted, but to be in awe of it. Make me thankful for your mercy at all times, and help me act on that gratitude at all times.
God, I want to much to be with the friends I love. Help me to get back to Pittsburgh in the fall, or to know and accept if it’s not your will. Help me to go back to CMU in the spring, or to know and accept if that’s not your plan. Just please don’t leave me in the dark. Show me a path, and help me limp down it, then walk, then run.
Thank you for the mercy I take for granted. Thank you for allowing this basket case to live and to have such amazing friends. Thank you for the opportunity to go to CMU and learn so much there. I’m sorry that I am nearly always oblivious that I am a sinner in the hands of a just god. Thank you for your extreme patience with my weakness and rebellion. Even while I’m so impatient with you and demand that you fix my problems immediately.
Note: this part isn’t that important, the prayer in the block quote is the main content.
Usually when I try to pray, my mind wanders really quickly, and I probably don’t get more than a minute in before I’m deep in thought on something completely different. I don’t say amen, I just realize like ten minutes later I was supposed to be praying. I’ve tried writing down prayers, but then I get distracted by trying to write more neatly, and it still just doesn’t flow. Both methods end up feeling more like letter to Santa than a psalm.
Just now, I tried writing a prayer on my computer instead, and it all came pouring out. Abstract feelings I’ve had for God that have been in my head for months finally became words sent up to him with purpose. It felt natural, conversational, and I think it has more substance than just being a list of requests.