Let Your Requests Be Known
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
“you have to start with the vinegar or you’ll never experience the oil. Many of us learned along the way to ignore the vinegar–the hot tears banging on our eyelids, the hurt feelings, the fear. Ignore them. Stuff them. Make yourself numb. And then pray dutiful happy prayers. But this is what I’m learning about prayer: you don’t get the oil until you pour out the vinegar”
-Shauna Niequist, “Present Over Perfect”
I remember sitting on the floor of my office, looking out the window-hopelessly worrying about what was to come. I would lift my anxiety up to God. I sometimes even bargained with Him to try to make things better. I always saw the times I sat in that room, lifting up faithless cries that often felt unheard, as a waste. God surely doesn’t want us to whine. He isn’t ok with self-pity and anxiety. Right? But I so easily forgot the times when I would get on my knees in desperation before the Lord and be met by this foreign sense of peace. I would cry and let it all out and all of a sudden there would be this odd hush. The only thing I can liken it to, is how I felt as a little girl. I would get so upset about something, and my mom would come, envelop me in her arms, and brush her hands over my hair. All the sudden, a peaceful calm would fall like a blanket over my distressed heart. And, for a moment all was right. I believe God can and wants to do that for us in the midst of our fear. Our pain. Our mess. But in order to experience the calm, we must be willing to pour out the worry, anxiety, sadness, and hurt that is bottled up inside. It’s not wrong. It doesn’t burden His heart. He wants to hear it all. Let your requests be known.