Hi, my name is Amber and I’m an information-aholic.  I confess I love knowledge; I eat it up.  That’s one of the many, many, many reasons I love Gateway, the classes, the equipping– it’s fantastic.  There is pretty much something to learn every day of the week and when there isn’t something happening at the church, you can go online and dig through the mountain of awesome resources available.  I know I sound like a nerd, but learning totally gets me all kid-in-a-candy-store excited. 

Praying though, did not until a couple of weeks ago.  My personal prayer life was fine, conversational, sweet and intimate.  I love praying with my kids too, not a problem at all.  But I felt like in group settings, I sucked at praying.  Before this class, corporate prayer felt like one more thing that was required of me, like doing the laundry, it's no fun but you have to do it.  I realize that sounds pretty immature but it's where I was at.

Ironically, I prayed about it.  Lucky for me, He is okay with immature as long as there is willingness to grow.  Also lucky for me Gateway offers Prayer Tools classes.  This particular class was taught by Marissa Star.  If you don’t know her, she’s like the cutest thing ever, sweetest too.  Also, she’s super wise and very tuned in, makes for a pretty fabulous Prayer Tools teacher.

I took my “I suck at praying” attitude to the class, hoping to walk out with some King James vocabulary words and a couple of extra Hebrew names for God.  Instead I got my paradigm shifted.  I got a lesson in humility. She talked through a few awesome verses, 2Kings 22:19, Proverbs 11:2 and Philippians 2:5-11 to name a few. 

Once again I was taught Why instead of how She made incredible points, touched on timeless truths I hadn't ever thought of- “We humble ourselves because Jesus did.  Our default setting should always be humility, it is the kind of counsel we love the most.  We consult because His wisdom is greater…”  I have pages of notes, so much helpful information. 

Honestly though, all of the shifting that happened for me can be summed up in one imaginary conversation, (come on, I know you have these too).  I sat in my chair, in my head, whining about wanting to be better at praying for people and Imaginary Marissa walked over and ever-so-kindly but matter of factly said “Umm, Sweetie, it is not about you.” and Imaginary Me, a little bit dumbfounded and glad for the revelation replied. "Ohhhhh."

Seriously- ohmygosh, what a relief.  I don’t need to have the perfect words.  I don’t have to figure out solutions before I go to Him in prayer.  I just need to humble myself and trust in His wisdom.  I can come to Him for answers instead of with answers.  Forgive my unfortunate mix of arrogance and ignorance please.  This maybe shouldn't be so brand new to me- Prayer is not about me sounding holy, it is about asking Him to glorify Himself.  Talk about relieving the pressure

This little imaginary conversation and the full of wisdom and grace teaching have turned my prayer life upside down.  Before I felt like if I was going to pray for somebody, the ball was in my court and I needed to knock it out of the park (sorry, I suck at sports analogies, but you know what I mean).  Now I understand that it is something I get to do.  I get to come before God and I get to follow the example Jesus gave of humility.  I get to ask Him to help me.  I get to access His prophetic wisdom.  Even my personal prayer life has changed, it still conversational sure, but it is so much less about me wanting and telling and so much more about Him, revealing and loving.  I have been jumping at the chance to go to Him in prayer, eager to let Him do His thing, happy to use whatever words I have and humbly come before Him.  It’s a whole new ball game and all that jazz. 

Also, a special thank you to Marissa, she did actually give me a new vocaubluary word, "Ginormousness."  🙂

Love, love.

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