When Religion Fails| By Tori Savoy


Religion.

There is more than likely one of two responses people have to this word. They either feel peace in it, or cringe at the thought of what religion has done to their lives.

Now half-way through my 20s, my success of moving into adulthood has come down to finding freedom from religion. Yes, I am no longer bound to religion.

Do not get me wrong. I am a Christian. I have not turned my back on God or Christianity. I have just learned to let go of all the legalism and rules that hindered me from walking free alongside my loving Father.

I have found Christianity is not a set of rules to follow. It is a love story with your Heavenly Father. It requires knowing and understanding the mind of the Lord through intimate conversations. It is not about man, it is about THE man, Jesus Christ.

The love of God has given me more happiness and peace than religion ever did for me.

In the book of Jeremiah, a man by the name of Jehonadab ordered his descendants to not drink wine. For generations to follow, all of his descendants upheld this rule. They continued to be a family of morality.

However, morality does not equal holiness.

God sent Jeremiah to Jehonadab’s descendants expressing his displeasure in their ability to obey His words while continuing to uphold the laws man had created.

“But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me. Again and again I sent all my servants the prophets to you. They said, ‘Each of you must turn from your wicked ways and reform your actions; do not follow other gods to serve them. Then you will live in the land I have give to you and your ancestors.’ But you have not paid attention or listened to me. The descendants of Jehonadab son of Rekab have carried out the commands their forefathers gave them, but these people have not obeyed me.” Jeremiah 35:15-16

Growing up in the church, it was so easy for me to see Christianity as merely the teachings of the pastor or the congregation. It was so easy to just accept what was taught rather than seeking God for what my Christian walk should look like.

If we get so caught up in man-made ideas of religion, it will drown out the voice of what God is telling us to do. Just as Jehonadab’s descendants, we have not “paid attention or listened” to all that God is trying to reveal to us.

“Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’ But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word?” – Jeremiah 23:16-18

I encourage you to soak in the presence of the Lord and listen to what he has to say. There are so many things I was raised to believe growing up that I no longer stand for. I will not express what my views are because I want to encourage you to search the scriptures and seek the Lord for yourself. Maybe everything we have been taught in the church growing up is the thing that is keeping us from experiencing Christianity to its fullest. Stop clinging to religion and cling to the Father.

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

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Don’t Get Emotional| By Makayla Durapau

Did you know that God has emotions?

When He sees us,

or thinks about us,

or hears from us,

or looks at us,

it makes Him feel something.

How cool is it that we can affect the heartstrings of the One that created us and everything around us?!

Spending time with Him and having a relationship with Him makes His heart glad even more so than it does ours.

Honestly, I do not feel like emotions get enough appreciation.

I have learned a lot of times that emotions indicate the state of your heart, your motives/intentions, and even the state of your relationships, both with other people and with God.

Unfortunately, a lot of people do not like to talk about emotions, or even what is causing them in the first place. This is mostly because emotions are messy. They are not always wrapped in neat little boxes that can be neatly unpacked and neatly set down somewhere to look pretty or be practical. They do not wait to make themselves known until it is convenient for you. They do not say their peace, then tidy up and go home. Sometimes, they spill… everywhere.

They act irrational.

They demand to be heard and seen.

Sometimes our emotions get, well, emotional.

That does not mean that we should stuff them down and suppress them. It also does not mean we should let them sit in the driver’s seat of our lives and dictate our response to everything life throws at us. However, it does mean our emotions are indicating a deeper reason than simply “I feel angry” or “I feel hurt” or “I feel sad”.

It is kind of like with babies. When they cry, they do not do it as a hobby. They cry because there is something deeper that is bothering them like hunger or needing sleep. Likewise, our feelings many times will let us know that there is more going on than just feeling like you want to cry or feeling like you want to punch the lights out of someone/something.

As a Christian, one of my greatest passions/desires is to see people set free from the bondage in their lives, specifically when it comes to emotional and spiritual freedom. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Isaiah 61:1, which says,

“The Spirit of the Lord God is on me, because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners;” Isaiah 61:1 (CSB)

I had seen this verse before, but it was not until about a year ago that it really leaped off the pages to me. To me, it speaks of how we are to take up the mantle that Jesus left his followers. God wants to use us to reach the poor, heal the brokenhearted, liberate those in captivity, and free those who are being held prisoner. As believers, we have been enabled to do this with the help of HolySpirit.

One thing that really strikes me about this verse is that to accomplish these things, you have to get your hands a little bit dirty. To free prisoners, you have to go INSIDE the prison. To proclaim liberty, you have to OPEN your mouth. To bring healing, you have to get CLOSE to the one who is hurting. To reach someone, you have to take the risk of CONNECTION. Jesus has not called us to a life of seclusion, reclusiveness, or exclusiveness. He has called us to a life of inclusion, closeness, and connection; both with our creator and with other people.

When we look at the Bible, we start to realize that we are called to love ALL people at ALL times (John 13:34-35; Matthew 22:39). I Peter 4:8 says,

“Above all, maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins.” I Peter 4:8 (CSB)

When we are looking at others through a lens of love, it is easier for us to give others grace in our interactions with them (Proverbs 10:12; James 1:19). Peter knew that when you let love guide your interactions with people, you are more likely to see them how God wants you to see them, and less likely to see them how the devil would like you to see them. It means that despite what they might have done, we still see them as someone Jesus was willing to give his life for. Someone that God wanted a relationship with.

Remember Your Promise| By Chelsea Verdin

The lyrics to “Your Promises Never Fail” (spontaneous version) by Emmy Rose have been my fighting words for months now. And each time I listen to it, I feel greater revelation happening within me about who my God is and how powerful His promises over me are.



“For I know Your thoughts
Your plans for me are good
I know You hold
My future and my hope
Your promises never fail
Your promises never fail
And Your promises never fail
And Your promises never fail
No, no, no”

My heart has cried many times, “God, when will my prayers meet my promise?”

“When will I see what I’ve poured out my soul for come to pass?”

“When will you do it for me?”

Each time I ask these questions I am reminded of Hannah. Her story in 1 Samuel is one of my most favorites. I can relate to Hannah so strongly that I feel as if I am Hannah. She is a woman desperate for a promise to come to pass. She is taunted relentlessly by an enemy. People who loved her, who were in her corner, supporting her, but couldn’t fully grasp what grieved her. Bystanders judged her because they didn’t know her story or her heart. When I look in the mirror, all I see is a weeping, desperate Hannah.

If you are unfamiliar with the story of Hannah, I will give you a paraphrased version. Hannah shared her husband Elkanah with another woman named Peninnah. Peninnah was able to have children and did, but Hannah could not. Each year, Hannah’s husband would take them to the house of the Lord to sacrifice. He would given Hannah a double portion because he loved her even though she could not give him children. He could not understand her pain. Hannah’s rival however taunted her so relentlessly that Hannah was in great sorrow. Just as Hannah is silently pouring her desperate heart out to God, a judging priest approaches her and accuses her of being drunk. Through tears, Hannah explains her heart, and the priest quickly blesses her and sends her on her way.

My most favorite part about this story is in verses 19-20.  “and the Lord remembered her. And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, ‘I have asked for him from the Lord.’”

For at least nine more months, Hannah had to be taunted by Peninnah. She had to keep praying. For at least nine more months Hannah had to use her promise as a weapon against Peninnah. She had to remind her heart and her mind what was spoken over her. She had to keep fighting and keep praying and keep singing until her cries were from labor instead of grief. She had to use her promise as a weapon until she could see it. She had to keep praying until she could meet it.

I see you woman, on your knees desperately praying for your promise to pass. I see your family and friends misunderstanding you because they do not understand your promise or your heart. I hear your rival taunting you and beckoning you to give up, to forget your promise and forget your God. I hear the bystander’s whispers and accusations as they watch your life from afar but cannot see your heart.

However, I also see our God wrapping His arms around you in compassion and mercy. I see His heartbreaking for yours and holding you still. And mostly woman of God, I hear your victory cry! Your shout of labor as you birth your promise! I rejoice with you as you continue to war for what is yours!

“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her.” Luke 1:45

When I Am Weak He Is Strong| By Jasmine Beard

“I don’t want to strive for your love anymore God.


I am so sick and tired of wanting you to be proud of me because of my actions.


Am I doing a good job?


Maybe if I could stop being such a screw up, you’d love me.”

This was me less than a month ago gushing out my heart in bewilderment to God. I had a commitment to share for a ministry in less than two days, and I felt as though I was literally about to lose my mind.

Why you may ask? The answer is simple I felt inadequate and as though I had nothing to share. On top of this, I felt distant from God.

I thought of how someone else could do so much of a better job at sharing for this ministry than myself.

I knew my feelings were rooted in the spirit of pride, but I asked the Lord “where does my insecurity stem from?”

I remember growing up in school and having no problem sharing in front of the class

(I was quite the ham), but after grade school and into college years, I had become more reserved, more self-aware, and more insecure than I had ever been before.

As I pondered on that thought, the Holy Spirit told me, “when you feel inadequate it’s because you are not leaning into the reliance of the Holy Spirit.”

For as long as I can remember, my life verse, or the verse that the Holy Spirit whispers to my heart the most often, is Proverbs 3:5-6 it says,

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

You would think with how many times the Lord has whispered that into my spirit, I would have it down pat by now, but nope.

In my mind, all I could think about was how I was not doing all of the things..

You know, the praying for hours soaking in His presence kind of things.

Or reading the Bible for hours on end.

I have always been a perfectionist, a doer, a striver, a hard worker, a go-getter of sorts. While at times this mindset has helped me throughout my life, other times it has been one of my biggest downfalls, especially in my walk with Christ.

You may be thinking what is wrong with wanting to be perfect or being a hard worker? Essentially, nothing is wrong with either of those qualities, but the truth is I am not perfect, and there is nothing I can do to become perfect.

When I feel the need to perform or to be perfect, it is because I have stepped away from simply abiding in the Father. Abiding in Him means I take off all of the pressure I place on myself to be perfect and lean into the Perfect God who has infinite love, wisdom and strength for all of life’s circumstances.

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 (NLT)

There is so much safety in relying on God and not myself. The Bible tells us in our weakness He is strong. The truth is we are all screw-ups, but God loves us in the midst of all of our garbage, setbacks, and failures.

So those two days came and went, it was finally my turn to share with the women of that ministry. I walked into that opportunity with no nerves, and no sense to perform. I simply shared of God’s goodness, relied on Him, and gave Him all the glory He deserves.

Girlfriend, let me tell you, it is not about you. It has never been about you, and it will never be about you. So do that thing that scares you, do that thing that God has called you to, do that thing that requires you to step out of your own reasoning and strength and rely on God to do the work.

If we are going to accomplish anything for God, we have to remember it is for His name’s sake. It is so His name will be glorified and that all will know of His unwavering love for them.

But Christ proved God’s passionate love for us by dying in our place while we were still lost and ungodly! Romans 5:8 (TPT)

God Keeps His Promises| By Tori Savoy

Promises sometimes can feel like empty words. When you are going through the valley, it can be hard to see the promise of the mountain top. So many times we wait so long we begin to think that the promise just does not exist.

I have been here several times in my life. Have you ever prayed for something for so long that you finally give up praying for it? You begin to accept the situation you are in instead of believing God will turn it around.

God has given me several promises in my life, some of which I am still waiting to see come to pass. However, no matter how many times He has come through, I still doubt those unfulfilled promises.

If you have been following my story, you know the last several years have been a battle with my health. I have gone from doctor to doctor trying to get answers. It has been the hardest road, but God promised He would be glorified through it.

Many have been touched by my health story, but I kept asking God, “When will I be touched? When will my healing come?”.

One thing He has taught me through this process is that He did not bring me this far to leave me here.

“‘Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?’ says the Lord. ‘Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?’ says your God.” Isaiah 66:9

Just because your hard season is lasting a long time, does not mean that God has abandoned you or forgotten His promise.

He recently told me my season of struggles was coming to an end. With the progress I had been making in my health, I truly felt this was going to be the end of my health struggles.

A few days later, I saw my doctor who informed me that my thyroid levels were doing much better, and it was time to lower my medicine dosage. Everything else came back doing much better, and she said I was headed in the right direction to recovery. My healing had finally come after years of prayer.

I know when you are in the middle of waiting for your promise it seems like the sun will never come up. Sometimes it feels like you will be waiting the rest of your life.

Do not give up hope. Sarah waited years for her promise of her child, but it came. The Israelites waited in captivity for the promise of a deliverer.

Your child is coming. Your deliverer is coming. He hears your prayers and knows your heart. He did not bring you through the valley to not take you up the mountain.

“Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭38:15‬

Rising from the Ashes| By Ashley Siliezar-Kinchen

“For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:29

It was about 8 years ago that I woke up to a screaming sound at 12:28 in the morning. It was my brother who was yelling that the house was on fire. It took me a while to understand what was going on because I was half asleep. I immediately took action and called 911 and woke up my family to evacuate. Believe it or not, despite how hard the fire was on our family, it was an answer to a prayer.

Have you ever prayed for something small and God transforms it into something much bigger? I am sure we have all experienced God in our own special way.

I have encountered God’s greatness in such a personal, yet supernatural way that it hardly seems real at moments.

In the years leading up to 2011, I lived in what seemed to be a storm of my own making. A troubled past coupled with resentment and bad decisions made me a cold person.

However, my father continued to bring my brother and I to church every Sunday. Life for me started to change because of this. But there were still times that I felt alone, like God could not hear me.

I would think, “Am I doing this right?” or “Can he hear me?”

I would think that that maybe He was upset with me because it seemed like some people around me had God’s direct hotline. However, no matter what guilt I felt, I knew that He always loved me and that guilt was the enemy trying to put distance between me and God.

As it turns out, God never abandons his children, and He had always heard my prayers. I did not know it then, but God was planning something that would change my entire life.

“Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” John 13:7

When my house caught on fire, I remember everything being such a blur. However, in the midst of it all, I remembered to grab one thing – my bible. At that moment, nothing else mattered, other than my family being alive.

When we stepped outside, I watched my mother drop to the ground and scream at the top of her lungs. It was painful to watch my mother drop to her knees as she saw everything crumbling in front of her. It was painful to see everything that I have ever known, burning in front of my eyes.

Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” Matthew 7:7

My thoughts were racing all over the place, but the only thing I can remember thinking was, “How can this happen?”

But then it hit me. I had to prayed to God to light a fire in my heart for him. Fire symbolizes the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit’s actions. I prayed for God to bring me closer to him. My heart was yearning for God’s love. That is exactly what God did.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

The day we lost our house we lost many things. We lost almost all of our belongings and even some of the memories that we made as a family in that house. But as the phoenix rises from the ashes so did we. Although it was painful to see our belongings burned, God always protects and provides for his children. God provided us with amazing people that helped us get back on our feet. He provided us with an even more beautiful home, and most importantly, He kept us safe.

He did not burn down the house to punish but to free me and bring me closer to him. The fire that burned my house down lit a fire inside of me. I yearned for God even more than I did before. Nothing can ever put out that fire.

To the Girl Who Feels Rejected| By Gabby Jones

I used to think rejection was my middle name. Growing up, I felt rejected by my dad after my parent’s divorce, and I felt rejected by my high school friends because I was not one to follow the crowd.

The dictionary defines rejection as “dismissing or refusing someone or something.”

Rejection can be seen as an action, but in some of our lives, rejection is seen as an emotion. We no longer see the act of rejection, but we feel and become a person full of rejection. There is a lot of power in that verb when it turns into emotion, but there is someone greater than our fears who has overcome rejection once and for all.

“…he will never leave you nor forsake you. ” Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

There was a season in my life where I thought God left me in the wilderness, without a survival kit. I did not hear from Him and for a moment, I stopped seeking Him.

“Lord, do not forsake me; do not be far from me, my God.” Psalm 38:21 (NIV)

I was so afraid of people rejecting me that I began rejecting them first, including God. If I was not rejecting someone, I was giving in to something they wanted me to do so I would not be or feel rejected. It was a circle of lies that I had created, and I could not get out of it. My fear of rejection spiraled out of control, and I then became something I feared more than rejection – LONELINESS.

I was living in a world full of seven billion people, and there I was, completely alone.

Then, a whisper from my heart burst through my sadness,

“I will never leave or forsake you. I will never leave. I have never left. I am here.”

That whisper burned a hole in my heart and let the light back in. I had based my acceptance and self-worth on the opinions of others when my identity is only found in one person – God.

Our identity is not based on whether someone accepts or rejects us, but it is based on the one who gently and beautifully crafted us in His hands. Before the beginning of creation, He thought of you and accepted everything that you are. His acceptance of you is beyond this world’s standards.

You are beautiful because He says so. You are loved because He first loved you. You are held because He does not want to let you go. Who you are is in Him, and you are not of this world.

“For the Lord will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance.” Psalm 94:14 (NIV)

My sister, lift your head up to the one who protects your heart and receives you whether you are in the valley or on the mountain. There is not a neat trick you need to do for God to love you more. There is no amount of sin that will carry you away from God’s love. Feel His hand on your life and receive the peace that you are loved and chosen by our Heavenly Father.


To become a writer for Unveiling Eden please contact us at unveilingeden9@gmail.com.

Refusing to Drown in Worry| By Zuzana Niedelová

You know that feeling when everything just works out, God is providing and you don’t have to worry too much about anything? That genuine happiness and thankfulness for all that you have?

That is what I felt, or at least, what I thought I felt. When people asked how I was doing, I would talk about the great job I have, or my ministry that is going so well. I would say I had an assurance of knowing I am in the right place even though not everything is perfect, and of God’s guidance and peace.

I truly meant all that I said, but I had not yet realized there was more to everything that I had not yet seen.

It was only when my mentor mentioned something small that he noticed and valued about me that I could not hold back the tears. It was in that moment that I realized there was something more, something deeper that I was holding back not only from others but from myself as well.

I realized I felt unappreciated, overlooked, undervalued, not known or wanted by anyone and most of all lonely. As if it that is not enough, God revealed even more; He showed me I was also hiding this from Him too. I did not want to disappoint Him after He gave me so much! I felt like I had to be thankful for all I have and hopeful for what is coming.

It was unacceptable in my mind to not enjoy my life after being brought to a stream while wandering in the desert. I knew what I needed to do – God had been teaching me this for a long time. I had to be honest with Him and to know He loves to hear how I am and what my desires are. So there I was, kneeling in front of God, crying my eyes out, and telling Him all about how I felt. I did not know what was to come, but once again, I trusted that He has me in His hands.

To be honest, not much has changed. I am still insecure about my future in my job. I still long for seeing more growth in my ministry. I still miss having close friends who live at least in the same country, and I am desperate for the freedom to be myself without being misunderstood or judged by everyone.

However, one thing has changed. I am no longer alone for all this. I have my good Father by my side who is ready to fight for me, to take care of me and to give me everything I need even if it is not exactly what I asked for.

With God, we have the freedom to feel our feelings whatever they might be. Freedom to come to Him with everything that we are and pour our hearts out to Him because only He knows how to turn our worries into blessings and our battles into praise.

A while ago, God gave me a picture of me drowning in deep waters, gasping for air between the currents pulling me down and letting me go again and hopelessly reaching out for someone – anyone to take me out. Right after, there was a different picture. I was enjoying a gentle rain coming down on me during a hot summer day. Every one of us desires that rain that comes in just the right moment, so refreshing and joy bringing. Drowning, however, is not so pleasant at all.

God does not want us to drown in the worries this life brings. He wants to refresh us with the water but by His own terms not ours. He wants it to be life-bringing and easy. Although the outcome of drowning and the rain is the same (you’re soaking wet), the process makes a difference between death and life.

Maybe your desires are good and Godly, but if we try to force the blessings to come into our lives, if we try to do it all alone, if we pretend we are alright and if we deny our need for God, we are willingly jumping into the deep waters, willingly drowning just for the sake of getting to that water.

God invites us into a deep relationship with Him. In this relationship we can be real and open without any fear of judgement or disappointment. He invites us to look up to Him first and to trust Him that He will let the water come down in just the right time and in the right form, that will not be harmful but will bring us life in all its fullness.

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2 (NLT)

When Following Christ Becomes Hard| By Tori Savoy

Christianity has been a part of my life since I accepted Christ into my heart at the age of five. Yet, sometimes being a Christian is still difficult for me.

From the outside looking in, it may appear I have it all together and that I am happy. Yes, I have unspeakable joy my Savior has given me, but I still have my off days, or sometimes months.  

Sometimes I catch myself going through dry spells where I am not as devout to spending time with God as I would like to. I will begin to compare myself to other Christians around me and feel as if I am not as good at this “Christian thing” as I have led myself to believe. My failure consumes my mind and makes me want to run away and never return. However, my faithful and loving Savior always ushers me back in.

I have found since becoming part of a ministry that the enemy likes to attack me all the more in this area and tell me I am not fit to be sharing my testimonies with the world. His attacks make me feel as if I am not a good model of what Christianity is suppose to be.

However, God tells me differently. Christianity is merely a sinner making the choice every day to lay their sins at the feet of Jesus and share His love and forgiveness with the world.

Jesus’ disciples are a prime example that being a follower of Him is not always easy, but that we do not have to be perfect to be transformed and used by Him.

I have often time caught myself embracing my failures like Judas, who betrayed Jesus for worldly treasure. Judas’ regret following the betrayal drove him to the point of taking his own life.

Sometimes, my guilt for not being a “better” Christian causes me to avoid any contact with God.  This results in severe depression for me when all I need to do is bring my failures before a forgiving Savior to start all over – just as the apostle Peter did.

Peter is one of my biggest reminders of God’s faithfulness to use someone imperfect like me. He was one of God’s most devout followers, and yet, He failed God on numerous occasions.

He walked on water with God in the midst of the storm, but began to sink as soon as His doubt set in. Still, He was the only disciple who even tried to step on the water in the middle of the storm.

Despite being warned of God of his upcoming unfaithfulness, Peter still denied having any association to Christ. Although I have never denied my Christianity, I know many times I may sugar coat it or just not mention my Christianity to those around me.

Luckily, we are never too far gone or have made so many mistakes that God cannot shape and mold us to use you and me for His glory.

After Jesus ascended into Heaven following the crucifixion and resurrection, Peter preached to people from all over and won many souls to Christ. He died a martyr for the name of Jesus.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

Just because you started off making mistakes does not mean that is where it ends for you. We can let our failures define us or give them to God and let Him define us. We can let our failures become a testimony, or allow them consume us to the point of spiritual death.

God never asked for perfection, but that we continue to follow him. Yes, following Him will be hard, and we will have to pick up our cross daily. However, He can turn our mess into a great message.

Today, I challenge you to be open with God about your shortcomings so he can make something beautiful with them. Do not try to outrun a Savior that is standing there for you with arms wide open.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

A Dwindling Prayer Life| By Jasmine Beard

“Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray Thee Lord, my soul to keep

If I should die before I wake

I pray Thee Lord, my soul to take

If I should live for other days

I pray Thee Lord, to guide my ways

Amen”

This was my first encounter with prayer. When I was a little girl, my aunt bought me a stuffed animal that had a recording of this prayer in it when you pressed its paw.

Every night I would hop into bed, tuck my head underneath my covers and whisper this prayer to God. God was not someone I really knew or even knew much about, but I believed. I believed He existed, and I really enjoyed saying this prayer to Him each night.

Years went on, and I slowly forgot about my stuffed animal and the little prayer I said to God each night. As I approached teenage years, my prayers were as if I was wishing at a wishing well, rather than having an intimate conversation with my Heavenly Father.

This all changed when I was confronted with my sin and the love of Jesus Christ at a summer camp at the age of 15. I opened up and told God the whole truth – how I had sinned and how I was so in need of a redeemer like Him. He was gracious and gladly welcomed me into a relationship with Him as He does for all of His wayward children. I dove deep into His word and deep into conversation with Him.

But over the years, I would go through highs, lows, and even lulls in my prayer life with God.

In 2018, I found that I was fed up with the highs and lows of my prayer life and dove into simply asking God, “what is prayer?”

Webster defines it as, “a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.”

As you can imagine, this definition did not help me much. I was looking for a Holy Ghost answer, something that would knock me over and leave my prayer life never the same.

To my surprise, God showed me what prayer is not.

Firstly, Prayer is not regurgitation.

We learn this from Jesus himself in Matthew 6:7-8 (NLT)

7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again.

8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!     

Secondly, I learned that Prayer cannot be paired with unbelief,

“I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” Matthew 11:24-24 (NLT)

Lastly, I learned that Prayer is not for show,

“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Matthew 6:5-6 (NLT)

After the Holy Spirit showed me what prayer is not, He compared a believer’s prayer life to intimacy within a marriage. He showed me that just like a marriage cannot thrive or be sustained without intimacy, neither can a Christian’s life/walk with God thrive or be sustained with the absence of prayer.

We are already one with God, but prayer is the continuation and sustainability of our marriage with God. I do not know about you, but I would not want to be in a relationship or marriage with a man who does not talk to me.

Just like intimacy in marriage must be paired with vulnerability and exposure, so should our prayer life be with God. We must learn to get naked before the Lord. Take off the masks, the church lingo, religious speech, and lies before Him.

Our Heavenly Father sees all things and knows all things. We do not have to cover up our heart, our hurts, questions, or disappointments when we come to talk to Him. He actually welcomes all of our concerns and longs to change our way of thinking, our hearts, and our circumstances.

Maybe you find that your prayer life is in one of the three categories I mentioned above. Trust me; I have been there. However, this is not where your conversation with God has to stay.

Today, I want to encourage you to just get real with God about everything. Do not be afraid or allow the enemy to tell you that God does not care about your situation. Your Heavenly Father longs for intimacy and closeness with you. He is not looking for you to have the right things to say, but for you to leave nothing unexposed before Him.

“The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalms 145:18 (NLT)