Growing up steeped in Religion, I was made to feel condemned if I did not “say grace” before my meal.
“Did you say your grace ?!” My parents would shoot disapproving looks at me and shake their heads with deep sighs. They could not believe I had chosen NOT to say my grace AGAIN. Oh how I would have “grieved the Holy Spirit”! The blasphemy of not having given thanks before eating. What would Jesus do? He always gave thanks before eating, right?
As a rebellious teenager that no longer wanted to just go through the motions of religion’s Dos and Don’ts, I know wanted to know WHY. It all had to make sense and feeling condemned all the time and being forced to sing songs I didn’t even resonate with in my heart to a God that seemed angry and unfair and unreal to me, just didn’t make sense.
Even after I encountered the love of God and knew that he was real and had that relationship with him, I still battled those same religious voices I grew up with.
Joseph prince says that before you become a Christian, the devil will condemn you for all the sin and shame you into even daring to go to Jesus with all your filth. He says that once your become a Christian (for real), the devil will shame you for not doing enough. Not reading the Bible enough. “Call yourself a Christian???” “How could you …. if you’re a Christian?”. Did you pray today? And for many years and some days, I succumbed to those accusations that left me feeling defeated and condemned. Powerless.
I remember the days before I got pregnant in Singapore. I could attend late worship meetings and pray with others. I could attend many Christian conferences. I could read my Bible for a luxurious 2 hours in the mornings. I could pray and worship alone for hours and be in the presence of God. Great! I felt good when I had all of that and that was good!
But what happens when you become a mom?
When your time seems to be not yours alone?
When your kids are constantly fighting for your attention? When you are just TOO TIRED to even keep your eyes focused on any written word for more than 10 minutes and all you need is really sleep? What happens when you can’t just go out late anymore because your kids need sleep and life just changes for you so dramatically you find yourself isolated and alone in this whole “church thing? Church sounds like being stuck in a cry room with other moms in a frenzy and you leave the place feeling anything but fed and refreshed and wonder if you Should have just stayed at home with Hillsong on your headphones and a podcast sermon?
When I realized that prayer is a conversation with A God that loves me and knows me, I stopped struggling with fulfilling that check box. How can prayer be on a checklist even at all? Would you have to ask someone in love if they had called/messaged/met the person they loved today and if they didn’t they were a bad Christian? Does a conversation have to end once you are done with your 5 minute “prayer” ?
If you see me on my phone throughout the day frantically typing away, it’s because I’m text messaging (what-sapping) my husband. And no, sometimes he doesn’t even ask me what I’m doing, but I send him pictures and updates throughout the day! Of the kids, if anything that I feel like I would want to tell him before I forget to. We communicate throughout the entire day! And if there are 2 “people” I talk to throughout the day it would be God and My husband.
Today I felt God say go encourage everyone especially moms that prayer can be like a whatsapp conversation. Whenever you have a few minutes, think of him and talk to him. He replies throughout the day and he delights in you!
Jesus was not a fan of long prayers either 😂
He said God is your Father and already knows what you need! And with such a God Loving you, you can pray very simply! He’s in charge! He can do whatever he wants, yes yes yes!
I look back at how I used to think that I had to come up with the solutions to speak them in faith. Declare it and it shall be done, but what if I didn’t know what to declare? It was too much responsibility and pressure of trying to be God and I wasn’t. When I just started thanking God and letting God be God, The burden was light and it truly became easy.
Friends if you’re struggling with religion, would you try what-sapping God today? ❤️
“And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat? “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best— as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.”
Matthew 6:5-13 MSG