An exercise in writing about my emotions brought me to an exercise in prayer. I read a writing tip today about showing emotion in our writing. It challenged me to think of the last time I was truly angry and describe in words how I felt. So I decided to try several emotions. As I listed my feelings, God began to show me how each one affects my prayer life. I’ll share a few of the emotions I listed.
There are different types of fear, but overall when confronted with fear, I can’t eat. My stomach flip-flops, and I want to throw up. I can’t sleep. I feel weak and alone.
During times of fear, prayer is a lifeline. God is my only place to turn.
I don’t get angry often. The times I am angry, I want to hit something or someone. I’m being honest. I feel a welling up inside of unstable energy like a storm is brewing inside. I become totally focused on righting whatever wrong I am angry about. I can’t sleep because I have no peace.
During times of anger, prayer is difficult. The emotional anger separates me from God. I know I need to pray, but my feelings of anger are wrong and self-centered. If I go to God in prayer, I will have to let go.
When overwhelmed with the emotion of love, I have a desire to give, give, give. I feel mushiness inside. It’s not a bowl full of jello feeling, but a marshmallow feeling. I want to hug the object of affection and hold on tight. I feel an inability to fully communicate my love. It’s not a desire to serve, but a desire to please.
During these times, it’s easy to pray. Love is from God. The emotion of love draws me closer to Him and illustrates how much God loves me even more than I can comprehend.
Feelings of depression arise when I am overwhelmed by circumstances. I feel tired and want to sleep. I have no motivation. I feel frumpy, careless, lazy, weak, hopeless. I become self-focused.
During this time my prayers are in desperation. I must take my focus off of me and place it on God.
These are four of the emotions I had on my list. I am working on more, both positive and negative. Have you ever thought about how your emotions affect your prayers? Feel free to share your thoughts.