Sunday, August 5, 2012

Improving my prayers

I have noticed something disturbing about myself.

I have a temporary job doing road work for a fracking company. That's right. I'm facilitating the use of machines that burn fossil fuels inefficiently for a company that fractures bedrock to get to natural gas, tainting groundwater and releasing methane into the atmosphere in the process. Mother Earth is my bitch, apparently.

Anyway, this work is really backbreaking and difficult. My first day, it was over 100 degrees and I got a bad case of heat exhaustion and just about barfed in the truck. Since then, the weather's been a lot nicer, but it's still been achy, tiring work. I find myself praying every morning, in the car on the way to work and at every lunch and water break for strength to be able to do what I need to. This is FAR more prayer than I usually do, and the majority of it is about what I need and want.

It's been reminding me a lot of the pride cycle from the Book of Mormon. The Nephites are prosperous and forget their God. They're travailing and all of a sudden, they're loyal disciples. I'm afraid I'm the same way.

I've been striving to overcome that by devoting one of my longer prayers each day to either only things I'm grateful for or prayers for blessings on others. I think it helps me step outside myself and try to be a little more humble.

Still, the problem I see is that I'm so eager to turn to the Lord when things are kind of rough, but not when they're good. I feel like if I prayed more when things are good, it'd be a more balanced relationship between Him and me.  We've all had those friends that are always there when they need help or a shoulder to cry on, but disappear when they're happy. We only see one side of them and it's not a particularly pleasant side. I feel like my relationship with the Lord might be that way.  I know it's better than not praying when things are hard, but it's still kind of a strange dynamic.

Goalsetting time. Those of you who know me, when I vacate this job in a few weeks, you get to keep me accountable for how I spend my prayin' time as a happy, content kid, because I'm going to start expressing gratitude for that contentment and telling the Lord about how carefree my day was, just so He can see that other, non-needy side of me.

1 comment:

  1. This is something I've been thinking about lately. I recently had an issue with Noah that I was really worried about. It occurred to me that I should pray about it, but my next thought was, "No, I don't deserve to get an answer about this because I haven't been praying regularly lately, and God doesn't want me to just turn to Him when I have problems." I've had these types of thoughts many times before in my life because, to be honest, I'm not that great of a prayer. But then I realized that it is Satan who tries to persuade me not to pray (isn't there a scripture about that?) by telling me that I don't "deserve" an answer because I haven't been doing "my part." This is true of human relationships, perhaps, but God isn't a human being with human emotions (not to mention that we will never do enough to "deserve" His answers and guidance--that is given by grace). Sure, I feel a little put off when a friend only calls me for help and never when things are good--but God isn't like that. He commands us to pray, in good times and bad, not for HIS sake but for OURS. I don't know if that makes sense, but it has helped me to feel less guilty approaching Him in prayer. I don't need to apologize that I've been distant because it is ME that would've benefitted from a closer relationship, not Him. If I should be apologizing to anyone, it is myself, for choosing to forgo the blessings and guidance that would've come from a closer relationship with Him. I honestly think Heavenly Father is happy to hear from us whenever we pray. Of course He wants us to pray in good times and bad because He wants to be able to pour out His blessings on us all the time, but I don't think we need to feel guilty approaching Him at any time. I don't know if that makes sense. I am currently trying to revive my understanding of prayer and to rely more fully on Heavenly Father on a daily basis. Thank you for always giving me so much to think about. So much of what you write resonates with me.


Be nice, mmmmkay? I allow anonymous comments, but not anonymous (or even attributed) douchebaggery. The Gay Mormon Pioneer's tolerance for hate and venom are incredibly low, but his love of communication and debate are high, so have an opinion, but be kind and gentle when you share it.

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