Not to be confused with: 1. You need to think about it. 2. You need to ponder it. 3. You need to mull it over. 4. You need to sit with it awhile. 5. You need to meditate about it.
“You need to pray about it,” is an entirely different concept. You can’t interject “think” or “mull” or “ponder” where the word “pray” is and have it mean the same thing.
To pray about it means you need to have a conversation with God about it, then make the decision based on your conversation with God and where God has led you, or what direction he has “put on your heart.’ That’s a lot of pressure!
Listening to my heart, listening to where God leads me, and knowing it is Him who is guiding me is not an easy concept for me at all and I will tell you why:
I have issues! I talk to God and ask for help BUT I have anxiety, I have PTSD, I have what if OCD thoughts that prevent me from seeing or hearing or feeling clearly what God wants to tell me. “Go with your intuition, intuition is God leading you,” which is also a great sentiment but my intuition is often on either hyper alert or guarded. It is incredibly hard to listen to God when there is all this other noise in my head.
My nervous system is in constant fight or flight. RUN it tells me all the time. There is rarely calm in my brain. Calm is where I thought I could hear God and if I cannot find calm through all the noise then how will I pray about anything and find any answers. Rain or shine, sometimes there just is not a clear message.
“Just give it over to God.” This is also a fantastic concept but if I cannot implement it, it is just merely that, a concept. Oh I will give it over but then I try to take it right back!
For instance, I can pray about a man all day long and ask for guidance on if he is safe to be around but between the PTSD moments and the anxiety and the trauma memories, it is hard to really hear God.
I don’t mean this to be a religious post at all yet it seems to be going in that direction. But my intent, is more a, my complicated brain, post. And also, how you can help someone else in need post. AND I intend it to shed light on what happens when, after hearing my dilemma, someone’s response is, “Just pray about it.” It is sharing of my inner most struggle not necessarily with God but with all of the clutter that keeps me from Him. It is actually fantastic advice! I do want God’s guidance and help. It’s just not so simple. I can go with a feeling but I don’t know if that is a feeling God put there or just one of the many layers of protection mechanisms I have put in place due to past traumas.
I am not advising to pray about something or not to pray about something. I am advising that when someone bares their heart and soul to you and is having to make the biggest decision, or what seems to be the biggest decision at the moment of their life, they may need more than to be told to go pray about it. When I ask someone’s advice it is because I want to know their thoughts. I want a different perspective. I want their ideas. Because, at that moment, praying about it doesn’t help me. Because at the moment praying about it seems unattainable and un reachable. Maybe, if that person really listened, helped me clear through the cluttered thoughts in my head, then when I did pray again about it, again, it would be from a different place.
Sometimes when someone tells me to “Just pray about it” it feels like a catch phrase, or a get out of conversation phrase, or a I really don’t know how to help you phrase. Before asking someone to pray about it, wouldn’t it be pretty imperative to know if they could hear God’s answer if they did. Or if they even believe in God in the first place. Because shooting out that response can just lead to more frustration. The last moment it was said to me it led to great frustration. I needed help! Right then! If you are religious and you want to say something like that, wouldn’t a better response be, ” How would you feel if you prayed about it?” Or even, “Can I pray about that for you?” That gives the person an open door of communication on basically everything. “How would you feel…..” Feels a lot better than, “You need to…”
Just something to ponder, or think about, or meditate about, or if you are so inclined, pray about. When you are at a crossroads and you ask someone’s advice, do you want to hear, “You need to pray about it.”?Do you need to be or want to be reminded to pray? Or do you need something else? Do you need that, plus more!
I was at a crossroads. My oldest and best friend Laura, the Godliest woman I have even know, put her arms around me and held me. Then out loud she prayed for me. I didn’t have to do anything. I just sat there and felt the love and compassion and prayer of my very best friend. A moment I will hold forever. Laura passed away of cancer many years ago. I still think of that moment where she could have easily told me to pray about it myself. But she knew that at that moment I had nothing left. So she gave me her love. I can tell you, it was pretty easy to hear God then.