Praying brings peace, comfort, hope and….exhaustion?
I told Andy, not too long ago, that I was exhausted from praying. “What? You are exhausted after praying? What do you mean?”
And he wasn’t judging me but when I called prayer, being such a beautiful gift to us, “exhausting” well, it almost seems blasphemous.
But if after praying I sometimes feel exhausted, then it is true for me.
The question is then, ‘”Is feeling exhausted from prayer a sin?”
I have yet to be convicted of feeling like I have let God down by being exhausted in prayer. Quite the opposite, actually. I feel like when I exhaust myself in prayer, I am working so hard to let go all of me and soak up all of him as I lay whatever it is I need to lay down at his feet. To keep fighting for what He says is true even though it goes against the grain in every.possible.way. If only I were exhausted from prayer every single day.
Obviously, lately, it’s mostly about Zeke’s healing and fighting against The Enemy who tells me I am crazy, silly and wrong for believing it will come to pass. Sometimes, it’s blogging out what God puts on my heart and actually posting it even though I feel like a crazy amateur in my faith and blog, who shouldn’t even open my mouth.
I pray out of desperation, I pray out of a need for more hope and faith in who He is and what He is calling me to. I pray begging for him to make me more like Him.
“Exhaustion in prayer is a sign of one fighting their flesh to inhale Jesus for all he is and believe what he says, as their heart cries out to him.”
This came to me one night before bed. It’s all I could say to describe how I felt from being exhausted from prayer. There is obviously so much more wisdom and gifts that God has for us in prayer but this is what I am pondering, currently.
I cry out (quite literally) to him begging for His kingdom to come in Zeke, in our home, in my heart, etc. For my heart to love as He loves, to share his beautiful story of redemption, etc. Basically, ‘God, please transform me because I need it every day until I die. The end.’
Believe it or not, I do have to fight the feelings of ‘just accepting’ Zeke’s life as it is because ‘maybe it’s a part of God’s bigger plan.’ And, you’d think since I’m not allowing myself to go there, I am unwilling to lay Zeke’s life in the hands of His Maker.
Before you jump the theology gun, hear my heart as someone who is in the fire (being refined). I lay Zeke into God’s hands with every dose of meds I give him knowing the terrible side effects and the suffering they and his seizures cause him. I lay him into the arms of Jesus every time he falls because of a seizure or I put him to bed knowing he may or may not wake up. I release Zeke back to his Maker when yet another form of medicine stops working and he continues to suffer. When I know how damaging these seizures are and the world’s hope is small for my boy to be okay someday.
So please, when I say I believe that God is going to heal my son, do not assume that I am afraid to admit, ‘God may not heal Ezekiel.’
As I continue to hash the theology out with God, apologize for where I may be mistaken and tell Him, “I’m truly trying to seek you, God. To follow where you lead me. Show me more of you! If I’m wrong in hearing you, show me!”
It’s prayers like that and answers like this that keep me going. God is using this time in our lives to build my faith and as soon as I say, “Okay, Lord. I trust and believe you in this.”, he’s ready to ask me to go further and deeper and of course be bolder in my faith. Ah! I have so much more faith-growing, doubt-smashing to go! He is so trustworthy, why oh why do I give room to unbelief?!
Growing in my faith is a beautiful and humbling experience which brings question and doubt and fear. And I’m very ashamed of that. Thankfully, God didn’t show me my life and say, “So, you’re 2nd son is going to get very ill and I will use it for good. Are you okay with that?” I’d probably say something like, “uh…well, um. Ya see, I really love this boy, I can see it on my face. Ya see, right there. Look how much joy he brings to me! I don’t know, God. Um, how about I just believe in healings and I promise I’ll pray over people and believe that you really do have the power to heal and you’ve given it to us and um…is that okay? I promise! PLEASE!!!!”
But, I wouldn’t believe in the power of prayer or that healings actually happen. Sad, right? He had to use brokeness in the man at target and 11 months later, to the date, Zeke’s first seizure to stretch my faith in believing in what God can do through His people, for His people.
God gave His perfect son for us, sinners and full of blame. But, since Christ’s death and resurrection, we have freedom and are released from what we really deserve (those that choose Jesus as their Lord, of course)….I’m not God and I don’t love like He does. His love is so great! I cant imagine giving my 1 of 4 kids over to the world, let alone MY ONLY CHILD WHO DID NOTHING WRONG! (Jesus, that is) Gah! Thank you, God! You are so good!!!
Basically, what I’m saying is, I’m not Mary and I’m not God. I couldn’t give my perfect son over for the betterment of others. And that’s hard to say, but, I just don’t think I would.
Many people say they pray for healing and truly want it but many do not actually expect it to happen.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
I am willing to be a fool for Jesus. I am willing to say, “God’s going.to.heal.my.son.” because he wants us to BELIEVE HIM WITHOUT A DOUBT!!!!!
I want my words to utter what is in my heart and I want my heart to be full of truth and faith in what God says! I’m not going to settle! I can’t! My boy is too precious and my God is too powerful! God and Zeke are worth taking one more blind step of faith.
As I pray for healing over Zeke or anyone God lays on my heart to pray for, I must let go of my silly, ‘fits-in-a-box’ idea or perfect theology of God and The Trinity, let go of me and take in all of Him for all He is and all He has to offer.
My flesh is strong but I must remember, my God and the Holy Spirit that lives inside me are stronger.
Our sermon this past weekend brought much encouragement alongside being challenged. Honestly, this whole series is amazing! The story of Elijah on Mount Carmel.
1 Kings 18:41-46
41 And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” 42 So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.
43 “Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked.
“There is nothing there,” he said.
Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.”
44 The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”
So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’”
45 Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain started falling and Ahab rode off to Jezreel. 46 The power of the Lord came on Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.
Elijah didn’t ask Ahab to go and look SEVEN times to see if rain was coming on a normal, typical day. This was the the last day of a 3 year drought in the land.
Ugh! I’d be SO annoyed with Elijah!!! ‘Seriously?! Again, dude? What’s your deal?!’
But Elijah believed what God had said and so he was persistent in his prayer and belief. I hear no doubt in these verses.
And being persistent in prayer can get exhausting, especially when everyone around you is watching, waiting to see if what you believe to be true is actually going to happen (Think: ‘Who built the Ark, No-ah, -No-ah!” follow me? Mmm k.) Or, it’s exhausting to pray and cry out for something that is going against every.grain.possible., at least in my human mind, not the mind of Christ.
And to pray often or to stay in a continual form of prayer, as life continues to go on (being a wife and momma, friend, etc) is…you guessed it! Exhausting!
But it’s good. It’s what God wants from us…an ongoing conversion with Him. To let him in our everyday lives as we seek out how He will use us to further His kingdom a comin’.
It’s okay to be exhausted in prayer, and I encourage it. Prayer reveals a lot of beautiful things. Exhaustion is just our body’s way of reminding us of our need for Him and how His kingdom is near but not quite here.
And as a very side note: To my readers. Thank you to all who are coming to me with encouragement in my blogging, sharing it and joining this journey with me in prayer. I have, so many times told God, “I am totally fine if you want me to stop blogging! I’ll do it! I’ll shut my mouth and be done!” and shortly after, every.single.time., one of you shoots me an email, I run into you here or there or sometimes a comment on here letting me know God is using this blog to bless you, to speak to you all while my original intentions were…well, fashion. HA! My how life has changed. God is good and thank you for being a part of that.