Archive for July 21, 2011

A Prayer

We should be careful to make sure that our prayers to God are not just words to fill empty space. I read A Prayer by Gary Block. It talked about how people sometimes pray to God, just using repetitive prayer to ask God for things.

Usually, these prayers are part of tradition. Like for example, at my house, we have a dinner prayer that typically goes “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food…” and you should already know the rest.

Sometimes the meanings get lost in all the repetition. We say the prayers because we feel like we should say them or just because we always say them before we eat. But we should say prayers for more than just that.

Why do you pray?

I pray to express my love for the Lord. To thank Him for blessing me with food, food that many others are not fortunate to have. I thank Him for my family and the relationships I have with my friends. I pray to express my joy of having His strength in my life.

When I pray, I take care to make sure that I am not just saying empty words. I pray as if I am His friend, and I am speaking to His heart, like a friend would speak to another friend.

Some people would argue that prayer doesn’t work. But I would say otherwise. I think the more we put our heart into it, the more we have faith that God will take care of us when we pray, the more intently He listens to our prayers.

Think about it! If we respect Him and love Him enough to pray sincerely, it makes sense that He would return that love back to us. Why would He listen to a prayer from an insincere heart? Why should He listen to an apathetic voice? Voices that seem distant in their love and attitude?

If I had a friend and they were insincere and fake, I would not waste my time on them. But if they really cared about me and took time to really talk to me, I would return the favor.

When I go to bed at night, I try to make sure my prayers are not mundane mantras that I say over and over again to no avail. I want to let God know what’s on my mind, on my heart. I ask Him for what I need and try to remain humble and ask for what others need, too.

That’s another important part of prayer: humility. Realizing that the needs of others sometimes should be put above our own needs. Instead of praying for more money or clothes, I might pray that my friend stops feeling sick or that my sister stops fighting with dad, or that someone in poverty might receive some grace from God and have their physical and emotional needs met.

It can be a battle, I know. But we must fight against meaningless prayers and be sure we are sincere with our words. Because I can assure you, God will return that sincerity. He may answer your prayers in big ways, or small ways that are barely noticeable, but that still make a difference. He could answer it soon after you ask, or months or even years after you ask. He could answer it in a way that you don’t expect Him to answer it, which is typically how He answers my prayers. However, one thing always remains the same: He is always willing to listen to a loving and caring heart.

Poetry Book Update

I am still working diligently on my poetry book about Jesus. I am naming it ‘Atypical Jesus’, because he truly is unique and different from everyone. I have come to love how he stands in stark contrast to the rest of this fallen world.

It’s about my tragic wreck of a life before I met Christ, how I surrendered my life to him, and then it’s about my tragic wreck of a life with him. 😀 That is to say that all my problems don’t suddenly disappear because I start to live for him. It doesn’t magically turn perfect. But in significant ways, it becomes easier.

It may appear the same to some, but I assure you that it is drastically different. Why? Because there is a huge difference between my strength and the strength of God, and I begin to rely on his strength. Life is still very hard on me, but I can cope with it a lot better.

I have found purpose in the everyday things I do, there is meaning for every breath I ever take. I don’t feel like I am wondering aimlessly. I am living out my dreams through him, and it’s a wonderful, breathtaking journey. Surprising and full of heart break along with fulfillment.

There is a huge difference in my poetry before I accepted Christ and after. The poems after are much more heartfelt and overflowing with love.

Annnyway, I thought I’d post a poem that I was working on.

Beyond the Horizon

I still want to help the world
Still have that little girl’s heart
Been sleeping and dreaming for so long
Tearing actual realities apart

Running through fields of orchids
Sunlight and dreams like gold
All these years chasing fairy-tales
Too magical for any human to hold
Only angels could understand
Only their ethereal touch could know

Running mad and wild
To a glowing horizon
If I could reach that place dividing earth and sky
That all of my dreams lie on

Reach that stretch beyond space and time
The line where the world bends
Where everything is thrown into slow motion
And even my breath stops short and ends

If I could reach that shimmering horizon
I know I could taste eternity
Just beyond it lies my Savior
Always watching over me
Pouring love into my bones
Giving strength effortlessly
Whispering truths into my heart
Oxygen for my dreams to breathe
Beyond this place and faithless people
His spirit always rings

Beyond the golden horizon
Time stops and all is still
Except for a passionate Jesus
And his fiery will

The will to love and be loved
The will to sacrifice, to die
The will to stare down creeping death
To look him in the eyes
To challenge him, take him on
And come out on the other side
Still strong and alive
I long to reach my Savior
On the other side
Beyond the horizon
That place dividing earth and sky

copyright Jennifer Clayton

The book really is coming along. I plan to have it done by the end of this year, and hopefully published early next year, before I turn 20. It will help me a lot that my mom self-publishes her own books, which makes a bit of the work easier for me.

I am currently trying to take my old poems and piece them together in a story for my life before Christ, which is very time consuming and slightly monotonous. I am also trying to work on writing new poems for my life with Christ.

The new section is called “Untitled”. I draw a picture to indicate each new chapter.

Every time I start a poem,
I open up word pad,
it says ‘Untitled’ at the top.
But the page is empty.
Nothing old, all new,
White page, fresh start, brand new.

Blank pages
I have a new muse
I’m
Finding the words
I’m
Writing a new story
A new poem
A new song
Untitled.

Hope you like. More updates soon!