The first apartment Joe and I lived at was near a busy road and it was a nightmare to cross at rush hour but then they put in a roundabout. Amazing how the simple change could alleviate so much traffic. But what would happen if someone just kept going round and round? One they would never get home and two they would cause a confusion and back up for everyone else around. I've never physically driven around and round on a roundabout but I just had a little experience that seemed kind of similar.
This morning I found myself praying and asking God for direction and guidance which led to me telling him what I wanted to have happen and why I thought it should happen which led to me worrying that it might not happen. Then God gently reminded me that he is in control regardless of the outcome of my prayer. His gentle reminder kept me from going down the path of thinking in circles, actually I had already done quite a few loops. I turned my thoughts back to God and included him in my conversation that had evolved into a conversation with myself.
How often do my prayer times become times I simply think in circles? Far too often.
Why does this happen? I already know how God should answer my prayer
God's gentle reminder this morning got me thinking. When I come before God with my concerns and needs I must be willing to leave the outcome in his hands. If I always come to God with "the plan/my plan" I will spend most of my prayer time talking in circles with myself. This gets me no where but anxious and frustrated. But peace awaits me if I can learn to pray with my hands open and my heart trusting.
For me this means slowing down and taking time to realize what I'm doing when I'm praying. Not rushing in and out so quickly but acknowledging that I'm talking to the king, the one who sustains and gives life to all, the one who parted the Red Sea, shut the mouths of lions, healed the lepers, turned water into wine, fed the 5,000, made the lame to walk and blind to see. Taking time to think about God while praying also gives me the proper perspective on who I am and my concerns. It helps me realize that I have a Heavenly Father who cares, who is able, who sees and who will answer in the way he believes best.
Thinking in circles = Anxiety, Fear, Frustration
Asking for direction...Tell God how I would like things to go... Explaining why my plan is so great...Worrying that my plan might not happen...Tell God how I would like things to go... Explaining why my plan is so great....Worrying that my plan might not happen....repeat
Praying = Peace
Taking time to acknowledge God... Pouring out my heart...Trusting.....Waiting..Taking time to acknowledge God...Pouring out my heart...Trusting...Waiting...repeat
God thank you for the gentle reminder that you are in control, that you are worthy of all my worship and that you are good and trustworthy. May my times with you be more about you and less about me.
Don't keep going in circles, He has a plan!