I Don’t Really Pray…
A Christian’s Thoughts on Prayer
By Grace K. Bianco
“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” Matthew 6:7
Okay, I do pray. I just don’t pray formally most of the time. It’s more just like talking.
My Prayer Life in the Past Few Years
I am a huge talker in person. You can ask anybody… Well, anybody who knows me well enough. If you don’t know me super well, I probably come off as being super quiet. However, once you get me going, I have a hard time stopping.
When I was in high school, I struggled a lot with anxiety, which at times made me feel bipolar. I was annoyed with God due to some of my circumstances. So, I prayed a lot. They weren’t always nice prayers. They were filled with begging and full of angry questions. When something good happened, I was still able to give the credit to God. Yet, my prayer life wasn’t pretty, but at least, I was still able to go to God.
Once, I got out of high school and my life seemed to be going more uphill. I realized I struggled with talking to God. Somedays, I still could, and then many other days, it was like I had nothing to say to Him. I don’t know if it was shame or laziness, but it only seemed to become more and more of a problem.
My prayers were full of nothing but empty questions. I wanted to know what was going to happen to my life. I wanted to know everything. My prayers were tearful, and there was rarely gratitude and joy.
At Bible Study, I would speak of my struggle. I knew I had it in me to talk, but I never had the right words. It was all just anxious babble or nothing at all.
When it Changed
I started to be more and more frustrated with my lack of ability to talk to God. I was starting to get better at reading my Bible. I was attentive at church, and I had plenty to say at Bible Study. I constantly had questions to ask my parents. I felt like I was doing a decent job at everything else regarding my relationship with God, but the one thing I found to be most important, I struggled with the most.
I was blogging at the time too. I was making social media and blog posts all about God. I could talk about God, but I just couldn’t talk TO God.
It was about two months before I met my now husband that things changed. I deleted the dating apps off of my phone. I had been so out of sorts on where God wanted me to go with my life. Was I going to become a writer? Stay a nanny? Would I get married any time in the near future? Did I need to move out of my parents’ house? I had so many questions and no answers.
That’s when I heard the voice in my head that was not my own late at night. I know it wasn’t my own, because in the midst of tears and questioning God for the one hundredth time, the words “peace be still” went into my mind and silenced everything.
I fell into a peaceful sleep shortly after. I can tell you right now I do not use that kind of language, and the peace I felt was not something I would be able to just feel on my own. I am good at working myself up, but I am terrible at calming myself back down.
I no longer cared. Writer and/or nanny, dating or not dating, living with my parents or on my own, I just didn’t care. I trusted God, and said, “Here is my life. I do not need a boyfriend, sudden career success, or a new place to live. You are all I need.”
I began talking to God about everything. Instead of just thinking to myself, I would spend most of the time just talking to Him. I am not searching for answers. I am only searching for a relationship with God.
I wrote a blog called my busy mind and I talk about how I stare off a lot. Sometimes, I am upset and trying to think things through. Other times, I am talking to God. There’s not much I don’t tell Him.
In two months, my entire mindset and relationship with God had completely changed. I was content.
Then, I had a really bad night, and my dad found me at the kitchen table crying. One of my sisters and I weren’t seeing eye to eye, and I felt like I was losing her. At the same time, another friend and I were starting to go our separate ways. He told me to try dating apps one more time. I explained what all had happened and that I don’t need a man to come and save me. My dad still persisted, and kept saying, “just try one more time”.
A little over two weeks later, my now husband and I went on a date.
My life just seemed to be one blessing after another. I started seeing my now husband a lot. His work schedule was really hard to work around with my nanny job. Then, I got laid off because of Covid. I received unemployment. This made it easier to travel back and forth to visit him while he was away working. I published my book, “Party Pooper: Growing up with Anxiety”. He bought a house. We got engaged a month later. We got married almost five months later.
Now, I am housewife and following my dreams in becoming a writer.
Is life always a breeze? Am I always perfect about praying? Did life become perfect? No to all of them. I still have hard days. My husband and I argue. Hard things still happen to me. I still ask God questions. I still go through days where I am more quiet towards God.
But my prayer life has changed. I am very blessed to have the life I have. Everything isn’t always 100% perfect, but somedays, I feel like it’s not far off.
God wants to hear from us. Formal prayer is still really good. That is one area I am still working on. I don’t say the Lord’s prayer on my own or use fancy language in my prayers. I just talk. I talk to Him the way I would talk to a friend. Somedays, He responds, and other times, He just listens and responds in His own way and time.
I still struggle with anxiety, but at the end of the day, I still am confident that God will always take care of me.
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My book, Party Pooper: Growing up with Anxiety, is available now on Amazon (eBook and Paperback).