I've come to believe and embrace the truth that prayer is not just talking to God while he sits back and takes notes on all the things I need and want and ask him for. It's not even Him basking in the glory of my praise and adoration. Prayer is a conversation. A two way street. Yes, I ask and praise and maybe even cry out to God, but I also listen. I have become acutely aware that in those quiet moments when it's just me and my Lord, he speaks. In the quiet whispers and in my thoughts and in spontaneous reminders of his Word. I've even come to understand that my conscience is His Spirit living in me. That understanding makes it really hard to ignore my conscience. Which is what it's all about, right? To not ignore those thoughts and feelings and nudges that come from the Spirit.
Sometimes it's hard. I'll be praying about something and this thought pops into my head that gives some clarity to the situation. I used to think, "Hmmm...that's a weird/wise/wonderful thing for me to think right now." But as I've grown older, and closer to God I suppose, I've recognized those thoughts as Him speaking to me. And it's not always what I want to hear. So it's hard.
That happened yesterday morning. I was praying about two of the girls in my afternoon class. They struggle a little...maybe even a lot. And they have less than perfect home lives. And they are searching and trying so hard to be loved and so in need of some guidance. So I was praying for them. For their hearts and souls and for God to protect them. And for God to send someone to help them. To love them and teach them to love themselves and each other and Jesus. And then it happened. He whispered. And His words were not what I expected. He told me that I was that person. The one He had sent into their lives. My soul screamed, "NOOOOOO!" Not because I don't love them and care about them and want to help them. But because it's just something else to fill the little time I feel like I already have full. And, honestly, they kind of drive me crazy. I spend every afternoon with them in class, which is one thing. But taking the time and making the effort to do more? I don't know about that. But there was that whisper. And who am I to ignore it? Who?
So now I'm trying, and struggling, to come up with a plan. One that will make a difference in the lives of two girls who need something different. And I am listening for His whisper once again to help me do what He wants me to do. Because I trust that He never gives me more than I can handle. Even when it's two teenage girls.
(I'd be glad to hear any suggestions from those who might have some. It takes a village, you know.)