The Freedom of a Simple Prayer
“Dear Lord, may they see you. Get me out of the way so they see you.”
I prayed this simple prayer as I was preparing to lead a neighborhood Bible study. I had never prayed a prayer like this before. Here’s how my prayers have been in the past:
“Dear Lord, please help the video to work tomorrow. Please help me to say the right thing. Please help my kids to not be sick so it doesn’t mess up my plans. Please help everything to go perfectly. Oh, and please, please, please let the food and coffee taste good.”
Can you relate? Please tell me I’m not alone… or crazy.
My old prayers were a checklist of high expectations—a checklist that was bound to have some blank check-boxes. I had the illusion that I could control everything, but that’s not reality. Kudos to all of us that try though!
I didn’t know it at the time, but I was a performer. My high expectations were the script for my performance.
Do this. Then do this. Then it’ll be perfect and people will for sure see Jesus. Performing left me exhausted and empty.
I imagine Jesus constantly tried to say to me, “Just stop. You don’t have to do a single thing for me to show up. Just love me and be faithful to me. I've got it. I made you for more.”
I smiled as I lay in bed praying my new, simple prayer free from my high expectations and checklists. Yes, I need weekly (sometimes daily) reminders to keep it simple, but I finally understand this truth in my own life.
This mentality doesn’t give me an excuse to not be prepared. But grasping this truth stops me from crossing the line and becoming the crazy, controlling lady striving for perfection. Let’s just bid that lady farewell!
My desire is that my simple prayers manifest themselves through my writing. I don’t write blogs or books for myself. I don’t lead Bibles studies for myself. I’d have burned out by now if it was about me. I do it because Jesus is worth it. It doesn't get any simpler or more freeing than that.
I got over myself. I got over performing and trying to always be perfect. I got over praying self-seeking prayers.
My freedom in Christ has given me simple, life-transforming prayers.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
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