I used to feel that God hardly spoke to me in my prayer, and am slowly realising how far away from the truth that is.
I recently went for a facilitators prayer session in preparation for the PROCLAIM Youth Conference and was taking a long long time to settle down, feeling distracted with lots of things. Perhaps it was my expectations of the prayer session, which turned out to be “just” a Holy Hour of Adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

A passage from the bible was read, followed by a really long guided reflection (at least 10 min of talking while the rest of us are in silence), and I got lost in my distractions very quickly. When that was done, the organisers split up into prayer teams and waited for us to approach them to be prayed with if we wanted, Confession was available or we could just sit at Jesus’ feet in Adoration.

I was fidgety and distracted for the longest time in that silence, not feeling the mood to pray, didn’t feel that I needed Confession, and thought I was wasting my time. Which was really ironic because I knew in my mind that spending time with Jesus was more important than anything else, and the main issue that I constantly struggle with is procrastination, which is basically -wasting time-. So with a “what the heck” effort, I decided to go to one of the prayer teams and ask them to pray for me regarding my procrastination. 

The prayer too felt really long, and nothing seemed to be going into my head, until I heard..

“Jesus was not held to the cross by nails, but by His love for you”

.. and I knew that was what I needed to hear and understand. 

I went back to my seat and prayer was flowing thereafter, non-stop. Jesus continued speaking to me through His Word:

“I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father.”     – Jn 10:14-18

My procrastination comes when I think only of myself, and start treating my youth coordinator as a chore, when I feel that others are grabbing my time, affection and energy from me. But when I recognise that Jesus was nailed on a cross willingly out of love for me, I cannot but recognise that He calls me to lay down my life in love for the youth in my care, and I truly desire to willingly lay it down for them.

I used to also feel my role was like a ‘job’ instead of ministry, and fell into the trap of having 2 lives, one in public as youth coordinator and having to put on a show; and another in private as procrastinator and not willing to do things cos its not ‘work time’.

The lesson I’ve learnt today is really: ‘I have the power to lay it down’. To lay down my life is a choice. Once I acknowledge this choice, I am free from the baggage that this work is something someone (external) demands of me, and I let God’s will take over in my life. 

Leaving you with this beautiful song that really speaks to me.

Verse 1:
With this heart open wide
From the depths from the heights
I will bring a sacrifice
With these hands lifted high
Hear my song hear my cry
I will bring a sacrifice
I will bring a sacrifice

I lay me down
Im not my own
I belong to you alone
Lay me down
Lay me down

Hand on my heart
This much is true
Theres no life apart from you
Lay me down
Lay me down
Oh oh oh
Lay me down
Lay me down

Verse 2:
Letting go of my pride
Giving up all my rights
Take this life and let it shine
Take this life and let it shine

It will be my joy to say
Your will
Your way (x3)