Ever get a bit overwhelmed– like there is just too much to do? A few days ago I did. I had received quite a few back-to-back calls from persons wanting a spiritual perspective on some things and from others that wanted prayer for specific issues in their lives.
Finally, I finished my last call and settled down to start praying about these cases. Within a minute I get a message that the police had declared a lockdown at one of the neighborhood high schools– one that our two daughters go to– because a criminal was thought to be in the area. This was an urgent issue, so I started to pray right away for everyone’s safety. But within another minute one of our daughters bursts in the door in tears because her stomach hurts so much. She goes to lie down on her bed. Something else to pray about, I thought.
That’s when I started feeling a bit overwhelmed. “How can I take care of all these things at once?” I thought. On the heels of that came another thought, “You aren’t taking care of anything. God is all at once taking care of everybody and every situation.” This thought calmed me. I still had a responsibility to pray systematically about all these issues, but I realized that God’s perfect creation was all there was– His goodness was All.
I read a few passages to our daughter from the book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (by Mary Baker Eddy) and then I prayed for her, for the school lockdown situation, and for the others who had asked. Gratefully our daughter got up within a short time, ate a little, went to school and later went out to ride her horse. There were no adverse effects from the lockdown except for some inconveniences. And other situations improved as well.
This incident was just a reminder–again!–that it is God that does the work. When prayer [or any activity] becomes a struggle, or overwhelming, or lacking in inspiration and joy, often I’ve found that its because I’m mistakenly thinking that I am the one that needs to do something. The book of John records Jesus as saying, “I can do nothing on my own.” It was his understanding that God was working through him that enabled him to heal so effectively. Recognizing that I can’t do anything by myself, and that everything that is done is God working through HIs creation, removes the burden. And brings effective results to prayer.