Lately, I have been challenging myself to pray a little differently.
Before I went to Colorado last year for my honeymoon, I learned about something called the “Power Pose.” It stems from the idea that your body language can effect your stress hormones and allow you to feel stronger than you would in a weaker posture. (AmyCuddyTedTalk)
When I am anxious, sometimes the best thing to do is to act normal. By acting normal–and perhaps striking a power pose–I begin to actually feel normal. My body language affirms to my brain that I am okay.
I have been learning also how this kind of affirmation can strengthen the way that I pray.
When I pray, I often say something like, “God, please be with us. Listen to our prayers. Be with so-and-so…etc.”
Do this. Do that. Be this.
Lately, I have been reminded of what God has already done for us (see “Even though he loved”: Trusting Amidst Disappointment) and what God promises to do for us. When I remember that, many of my prayers change from supplications to prayers of affirmation.
Instead of “Be with me,” I pray, “You are with me.”
Instead of “Hear me,” I pray, “You hear me.”
Instead of “Be with my friends,” I pray, “You are with my friends.”
When I pray this way, it also changes the way I ask for God to empower me.
I often pray, “Help me not to fear.” Now, I am trying to pray, “I will not fear because You are with me.”
Instead of “Give me strength,” I pray, “You are my strength.”
Knowing what Jesus promises us in Scripture is the best way to pray these prayers. If we know that Jesus said “My peace I leave you,” then we can pray, “You give me peace.” If we know that Jesus said, “Do not worry,” then we can pray “I will not worry.”
I don’t leave these prayers suddenly super-strengthened like Bible Man. But I do leave with more strength and more hope and more assurance.
When we have needs, God wants us to pray about them. But sometimes we have needs that are met even as we remember what God has already done.
The Spirit is making us new.
God goes behind, beside, and before us.
God loves the ones we love even more than we do.
God pursues us before we pursue God.