Every person on this planet has God-given gifts called emotions. We were given emotions to help us live our lives to the fullest and make many great memories. The emotions we feel have another purpose, though: they indicate where we believe we stand with God.
It can easily be seen in prayer. When one prays out of joy, prayers tend to lean towards happier sentiments, while a prayer from sorrow tends to lean toward more disheartening sentiments. Both of these prayers have value, therefore neither are overlooked and both are answered.
In a strange twist, we humans occasionally reject emotions. It can create a problem in prayer life if someone cuts off their feelings. The emotions we feel are more important than we think because they help us surrender ourselves to God.
Surrendering oneself to God means to offer up everything in your life. Take a step back from the world and simply pray. Doing this will put you in a vulnerable state, but it is the vulnerability that will make your prayer life much stronger. Praying while being vulnerable is an amazing way to communicate with God. It takes away all the pressure and anxiety about praying by connecting you to God on a personal level.
Vulnerable prayer makes prayer seem like a heart-to-heart conversation rather than just a request to God. It rejuvenates the soul, which allows you to connect with others and see their needs better as well.
I have fallen victim to rejecting my emotions in the past. When I was a younger teen, I believed showing emotions was weak and had no place in the life of a man. This inevitably caused a rift between myself and God.
I was not praying or doing any extra religious activity that I usually did. It became so detrimental that I began to see the effects. I was getting more angry, hiding away in my room more and overall not doing much.
I knew something had to be done to change the direction I was going, but I didn’t know what. Then I got an offer to go to Search, a youth retreat hosted by the Diocese of Little Rock. It was there that I learned about surrendering myself to God.
When adoration came, I tried making myself as vulnerable as possible. I thought about my family, friends, classmates, fellow Search attendees and people in my life who I admire. I realized the value that every single one of them held. I also realized that all of their problems were real, and that they deserved prayer just as much as anyone else.
So I prayed, and doing so solidified my beliefs and prayer life.
After that day, I never saw the world the same way again. Praying vulnerably allowed me to surrender myself to God by facing my emotions head-on and seeing what I had been ignoring for so long. When I surrendered myself to God, I was ready to have that friendly conversation. That surrendering gave me a look into my heart, so I was able to see my purpose.
The best part is that surrendering yourself to God is one of the easiest things you could do. All you need is time. Prayers like these help keep a healthy prayer life alive. Of course, this vulnerability will not happen at every prayer. However, I have discovered these prayers come to life when they are needed the most. They will do the same for you.
This type of prayer is powerful enough to change the course of someone’s week. Not only that, but it can help a person become more aware of other people’s problems. It can make you more patient, grateful and an overall better person. Praying in this way enhances life and the way we perceive it.
Things seem different when you look at them from a different angle, so instead of seeing our problems the way we are used to, we should look to God to help us find a better way to view them and deal with them.
Surrendering myself to God is one of the few things I will never forget. My first time changed my life, and it most certainly will change yours. As Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”
When you feel the need, just take a deep breath and pray.
Noah Koch, a senior at Sacred Heart High School in Morrilton, attends Sacred Heart Church in Morrilton.
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