Imagine. Two pictures. One is a person alone sitting in a chair, elbows on a table with their hands clasped together praying. Their forehead bowed down touching their praying hands. The other picture has that same person in the same position. Only this time, Jesus is sitting on the other side of the table with His hands covering the other person's hands, head bowed down as well.
I've seen this picture before. The first image is how we envision our prayer time, alone and by ourselves. The second image is more likely what's happening. Jesus is really with us during prayer. It's a beautiful vision that recently I truly felt happened to me.
When I sit down for my daily prayer time with the Lord, I'm usually talking out loud the entire time. I talk a lot in prayer, never really taking the time to listen. I don't just sit with the Lord and be in His presence - ever.
I've always thought of prayer as asking Him for my wants and needs, and forgetting that's not all prayer is. I guess I feel like if I'm not constantly "reminding" the Lord about my struggles, He's going to "forget."
I'm trying to do better with this. I'm trying to switch up my prayer style once in a while. It's important for me to just listen to what God is trying to tell me. I've found that when I do listen, He's telling me some really important things.
When my daughter Grace was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder a month ago, I was sad. I felt dumb that I didn't see the diagnosis coming. The signs were there. I was sad for assuming she didn't need as much help as I thought. I felt bad that I couldn't get her the help she needed with therapy this summer. After her evaluation, the first thing I did when I got home was pray. But I didn't feel like talking.
I sobbed. I didn't talk. I just sat there, listening; just being with Him.
That's all I needed at that moment; to just cry with Someone who understood me and what I was going through. I wasn't sad because my daughter has autism. I was overwhelmed. Even though her autism has been with her, her whole life, it just felt like another thing for my kids. I wondered if I was doing enough for her?
I suddenly felt a warm feeling come over me. Like Christ was giving me a hug. I felt wrapped up in His arms. I truly felt his presence. He was there crying with me. It was such a beautiful moment.
I thought of those two pictures. He's always with me during prayer even if it doesn't feel like it. He cries with me and cheers with me. I'm never alone. He wants me to come to Him. The Lord wants to be with me always.
I didn't need to talk. I didn't want anyone telling me it was going to be OK. I didn't need any advice. I just wanted to cry. He knew that and delivered with a warm embrace. It's exactly what I needed to feel better in that moment. I needed my Father. He's always there. Just like the picture.
Kate lives in Colorado with her husband and three children. You can read her writing at her blog This Special Journey.