Thoughts and prayers cannot be separated, and that makes praying with something else on my mind impossible. That was the humbling lesson this morning. God gently told me that He couldn’t hear what I was praying because what I was thinking was too loud. That got my attention and reminded me of the lesson on praying attention! This was more that just paying attention; it was understanding that my thoughts are my prayers.
I can’t set aside thoughts and sit down to pray any more than I can set aside my mouth and sit down to eat. It can’t be done, and that was the clear message this morning. Proverbs 23:7 is a warning about appearances being deceiving, but it is also a powerful reminder that the thoughts within me are my truest self. “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” That doesn’t just apply to the ruler in Proverbs; it applies to me too. When I sit down with God, He hears my thoughts. If there is a conflict between what I’m praying and what my thoughts are saying, He goes with my thoughts.
Sobering lesson this morning for my wandering mind. I am still holding on to what I want in my head, so God cannot hear the cry of my heart over the din of my mind. As I said yesterday, the lessons in praying are proving to be my greatest challenge. Give up my thoughts too, Lord? Yes was His quiet, but powerful, answer. The heart and mind must be of the same accord before my prayers are what God desires. Christ did not think one thing and pray another. He didn’t hang on to His wants and pray God’s will. He emptied Himself completely, and that is what I must also do. Letting go of those pleasant thoughts of what I want are not easy to do, but it’s necessary if I am to give up space to God and pray as His sweet Son.
There is a peace that comes from clearing out stuff, and an even better feeling comes when I give up those thoughts that fill my head. Letting go of the notion that things could have been any different is the most freeing clearing I’ve found. Learning always comes at a cost, but the greater the cost the greater the blessing that comes from it. God has blessed me beyond belief as I’ve cleared my head so He and I can both hear my heart. It changes the way I think and pray and makes living the praying life much easier:)