So, if it’s your will, and if you will be glorified in it, and if it’s not going to feed my selfishness or draw me away from you, I pray that you’ll help this interview to go well, but only if I can glorify yo—
“I think I forgot my résumé. I gotta turn around.”
Oops! Sorry, God. Where was I . . .
This is basically my prayer life. I’m like a seven-year-old who’s had exactly three swim classes: I’m not drowning, I’m confident enough that I can doggy paddle, but there’s no grace or ease.
Some days I wish I could go diving for rings like the rest of the kids, but instead I get distracted by something shiny outside of the pool, and before I know it, my head’s under water and I’m panicking.
I haven’t always been this way. As a little girl who grew up in the heart of the Bible Belt, I actually used to pride myself on my prayers, at least in public. They were eloquent and moving, evoking my own tears and even tears from others. I felt spurred on by an “amen” or moans of approval, and the more people who felt moved by my words, the more moving and emotive they became, often stretching out as a theatrical monologue while pandering to the wishes of the crowd.
I was a dramatic child bolstered by the approval of others, and this, unfortunately, carried over into my prayer life. The worst part is that it worked: people complimented me for my prayers. I could feel the approval of the adults around me, and I knew that I had done something right.1