by Ryan Krzykowski
I’m about to break my own rule. Usually I find it a waste of my time when a writer or public speaker bores me with a story about how he/she landed on their topic. Just write what you want to write, say what you want to say, and keep your backstory and thought process to yourself. And yet here I am, pulling back the curtain. So if you find it boring, know that I understand, and feel free to skip down a paragraph or two.
After watching a little college football over the past few weeks, and hearing about 1000 players identified as transfers from XYZ University, along with 2000 references to the transfer portal, I was planning to write something about how this transfer portal thing is out of control (like in the Dr. Pepper ad) and how sports in general seem to be trending toward crazy. I’ll probably write that post someday, but not today. Because today I got an answer to a question I’ve been wondering about for most of my life. If I’d wondered about it more, I probably would have gotten an answer a lot sooner. If I’d been paying attention, I am fairly certain I’ve had some version of this answer shared with me plenty of times. But apparently I haven’t been wondering often enough or paying attention well enough — until now.
Prayer has been a mystery to me for decades. I feel like I’m lousy at it, and it usually feels like a struggle at best. I find myself wondering what the point is — why would a perfect, all-knowing God need me to say much of anything? For every person I pray for, I can think of 100 that I haven’t got time to pray for, and that alone has been known to cause me frustration and guilt. I tell people I’m praying for them, and I do most of the time, but it can be hard to believe it makes a difference. But then people tell me my prayers make a difference, and I’ve told others that same thing, but it’s typically one of those things I believe without actually feeling it. And I know there’s a difference between feeling something and it’s truth value, but is it so wrong to want to feel like prayer matters if I’m supposed to spend the time doing it?
So here’s the answer I got that I’ve taken to heart and believe could be a big step in the right direction of my battle with prayer. I’ve basically realized there’s no way to do it wrong. There’s no way to mess it up. Paul tells us as much in Romans 8, when he writes, “we don’t know what to pray for as we ought”. I’ve heard and read that verse before, and yet somehow it never really sunk in. It seems prayer isn’t about getting it just right. It isn’t about remembering every single person, place or thing and having the perfect words. Maybe it’s simply about showing up, and letting our perfectly loving heavenly Father know that we recognize our dependence upon Him. Sometimes I’ll have specifics to offer, and other times I can wordlessly come to Him and sit in the glow of His presence, knowing I am loved.
We live in this world that has bombarded us with the idea that we must pursue excellence at all times in all things, and most of the time that’s a pretty good thing. I want to pursue excellence and inspire others to do the same. But when it comes to prayer, I think I might be done pursuing excellence, at least for a while. I’m going to stop worrying about getting it right, remembering everything I’m supposed to, and I guess we’ll see what happens. I suspect there might be a lot of joy and freedom waiting for me. I’ll keep you posted.
Let’s Coach With Purpose…