Saturday, June 24, 2017


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. Against such there is no law. 

The last few days have been a little difficult for me. I haven't been in the best place spiritually or emotionally, due to some issues I've been working through for a while now. It comes and goes, some days better than others. The biggest problem is that instead of trying to pray my way through all of it, I sometimes don't even want to talk to God.

Why do we act this way? I've been given the unbelievable gift of being able to talk directly to the God who created me and the earth and galaxies and universe I'm wrapped up in, and sometimes I just don't even have words. I give Him the silent treatment. Thank You, Lord, for your everlasting patience. 

The other morning, though, I did some praying. The urge to pray started pretty much as soon as I left my bed, and carried a good fifteen minutes through my morning as I got ready for the day. I'm not sure where the inspiration came from, but I started praying through the fruits of the spirit. 

Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control.

I think that often, part of my reason for not wanting to pray comes from not knowing WHAT to pray. And this is where Scripture can help. I've learned in the past couple of years that Scripture doesn't have to just be read - it can be used as powerful prayers when the words and requests we need to speak just won't come to us. I think in these moments, when we are at a loss for words, Scripture and the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26) combine to help us along in our prayers. God knows we are weak even in prayer, and as He always does, He offers us the help we so often forget to ask for. 

So in this post today, I want to write a basic skeleton of what I prayed yesterday morning, based on Galations 5:22-23. I like to write out my prayers - sometimes it helps me answer my own questions (or reveals God's answers to me, I suppose). I'd encourage you to try both if you're struggling in prayer - write it out, or find a Psalm or a favorite verse and pray through it, for yourself or for someone else. It might make all the difference. 

Lord, show me how to love, and how to be loved. I know that love covers a multitude of sins, and that love is the greatest gift we've been given and can give. Help me to love fiercely and unconditionally, to accept love, to let my daily motions be driven by love. Let love grow in my heart and my mind, and let those I spend time with walk away feeling loved. Show me how to make a home for love in my spirit, and to remember that You are the definition of love. 

I pray for my joy, that you would renew it every morning. God, I am rarely as joyful as I should be, considering how many things I have to be joyful for. I let my heart blacken and harden and then try to use it from such a state, and all that does is feed negativity into my life and into other's lives. I don't want it to be that way. Please give me a joyful heart, a heart that always returns to joy even after bad days, attitudes, and situations.

God, peace is something I rarely feel these days. I know You give it, though - sometimes in the most unexpected of moments. I pray for peace in my soul, not just for me but for those around me, especially people that I'm capable of influencing. Help me to inhale and exhale peace, and to let it be a way of life, especially when angered thoughts fill my head. Let there be peace in the world, starting within our own souls.

Lord, You know how bad I am at this one. I've never been a patient person. I want to know what, when, where, why, who, how, and I want to know it NOW. But lately, you have been calling me to seasons of waiting and trusting, and those seasons take patience. Please instill patience in my heart; let it be something that grows as I find myself not wanting, but needing to practice it. When we are waiting, You are active, and I pray for the patience to wait well.

I've always considered myself a kind person, God, but can I say that when I ignore the homeless person shaking a cup of coins at my feet? Can I say that when I look down on those facing different life situations, as if I am somehow superior? Whether I act upon what's in my head or not, I can be so unkind, and God, please change that about me. Or show me ways to change it. Give me opportunities to change it. I pray for small acts of random kindness to become a habit in my life, small kindnesses that can lead to seeds planted, which You water and tend until there is fruit.

I am not good. God, I am not good. My nature is to sin. My heart is crippled by sin. And the only thing keeping me from dwelling in sin is this faith that there is something more to all of this, a faith that says there is Someone to which I am held accountable. But because of my relationship with You, I have a desire for goodness along with my desire for sin. God, let the desire for goodness rule in my heart, so that my faith can be fruitful and I may be a mirror of Your goodness.

You have taught me so much about faith these past few months, God. It used to just be an abstract noun that I talked about in church, or a word I used in reference to my relationship with you. But I've come to realize that faith is so much more than that. Faith takes a strength that is supernatural. It takes being braced for anything that You may present to me, any situation, person, command, or altered plan. It takes humility and grit to be faithful in all things, and I fail so often. God, forgive my moments of weak faith and help me to strengthen that same faith daily.

God, I live in a world that is not gentle. But there is something about gentleness that is unexpected. Help me to practice gentleness. When the world is raging, help me to be gentle so that it may see something different in me, something beautiful that doesn't fit the status quo. Show me how to be gentle in mind, body, and soul.

*and this is the part of the show when Alicyn starts sounding less "Christian-y" and instead, really, really human*
Um. God. I have zero self-control. Well, maybe I have some, but only because I'm aware that You hear every thought that flits through my head and that if it weren't for Jesus, those thoughts could separate me from You eternally. I pray for self-control, in my actions, my speech, and my thoughts. Sometimes there is freedom in limitations, and in this case, freedom is found when I control my nature of sin and submit it all to You for a relationship with You. That's where freedom is found, in knowing my soul is safe with You for eternity, no matter what happens here until I'm home with You.

/ / /

Got any thoughts on prayer? I'd love it if you'd share them in the comments!


Photo by loli Clement on Unsplash


  1. Prayer has always been difficult for me. It's like...God already knows everything I'm thinking and worrying about and stuff, and yet, we're still suppose to pray. Then on the other hand, when does a thought count as a prayer if we are to be in conversation or aware of God's presence throughout the day? When I was younger, I used to be all precise about the way I prayed because if I didn't do it just so, it wouldn't be accepted.

    I love your Psalm idea. Sometimes Psalms is the one place in the Bible that impacts me when I'm feeling emotionally disconnected. Just today I was reading Psalm 143 (The New King James version). There are so many beautiful words in that book.

    Funny thing - sometimes when I'm feeling emotionally disconnected (mostly because I've done something that I know isn't right, but I'm going to 'fix' my problem before communing with God again, even though it doesn't make sense) I write free-form poetry and find them turning into prayers without hardly knowing it.

    No fixes here. Just more wonderings.

  2. I've struggled with the same thing off and on over the years. In thinking more about praying "without ceasing" it's seemed awkward to start a prayer, say all I need to say, and end it like hanging up the phone. I think prayer can be intentional like that, but also just...conversation. Like acknowledging a close friend throughout the day.

    I love the Psalms so much. I want to memorize more of them. (I've only memorized like...two and a half. I wish I could have the whole book committed to memory haha).

    That's a neat thing, about your free-form poetry. And I love hearing further wonderings - God gave us curiosity and the ability to question for a reason :).

    1. I've wanted to memorize Psalms, too! I did memorize the first 7 before running out of steam. What would you say your favorite Psalm is? I've always loved Psalm 139.

    2. 139 is lovely. Two of my favorites are 144 and 107. I LOVE 107. In fact, I think I'll start memorizing it ;).