When I pray, which admittedly is not often enough and never out loud, its always for two things. Peace and Direction.
When I first started praying, sincerely, I had to do it in a composition book. I literally felt silly talking out loud trying to humble myself and ask for anything. For one I struggled with asking for help and two I struggle(d) with verbalizing my feelings. Everything is easier in writing for me. So I had this composition book and instead of journaling, I just put all of the prayers in there. When I first started the prayers were cliche. Praying that all the people I knew had a good day, a good life. It’s not that I didn’t mean it… It’s that I thought that’s what I was supposed to be talking about. So here I am, a decade or so older, and my composition book is long gone. I still don’t pray out loud. But I have gotten better at initiating the conversation in my mind.
Peace is the most important thing I’m going to ever ask for. I am sure that if I, with all my talents and gifts, can’t create it for myself… only He can. I used to request peace in the context that people around me be less hurtful, less judgmental, less inconsiderate. With maturity I learned that I can not ask that others change without acknowledging that it’s not what they do but how I react to it. Now when I ask for peace I am requesting that resentment, malice and disappointment be removed from me. In that sense, no matter what is going on in my environment and what people chose to do, I will always be at peace. Now obviously this is an ongoing request because I have not mastered consistent peace. That’s why I ask for it, unapologetically.
Direction is a tough request. As far as I am supposed to believe every step has already been ordered. I do have faith in the fact that I was sent here to flourish and I trust the plan; so I shouldn’t worry, right? Wrong. I am always going to fear making that one wrong decision that puts me down a path of destruction. It can literally be one move that throws your entire livelihood off and you end up in a foreign place. I see and hear it everyday. I listen to people’s lives and try to pinpoint the place where everything started to snowball out of control. That is not to say that life can not be mended and people can not be pulled out of destruction but the fear still exists. So I ask for direction. Show me something that confirms I’m making the right move. Make it clear to me when I am not. That’s what I’m asking for. That’s what I’m demanding. Silly of me to demand but I figure the more assertive you are the greater the likelihood you’ll get what you asked for.
I think peace and direction pretty much cover the basics. I pray the same two things for my friends & enemies. If you can guide me and keep my mind at ease I can do my best to handle the rest.