When it feels like your prayers are hitting the ceiling

I took a picture of my ceiling on Sunday. Because I'm strange. But also because I was so thankful to be home. In my own bed. Staring at my own ceiling. We had the best time away as a family, but ten days is a long time to be gone, and I am glad to be home. Glad we went. Glad we came back!

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I haven't been able to get this silly snapshot of my ceiling out of my mind. I'm staring at that same ceiling now. But it's dark and quiet. And the silence let my mind wander. And I realized, if I can be so bold and honest, that I have in many ways ceased praying in this place. I do pray. In the car. At Bible study. Right before I do something that seems a little uncomfortable. Passing prayers. Fleeting ones. Haphazard and noncommittal.

But it's been a long time since I prayed in this place. In this quiet and sacred space where it's just me and my God.

Because it's scary when it's just us. I have a lot to say, but it's all caught up in my throat. Usually the quieter I am, the more I actually have to say. Maybe that's true for everyone. Maybe not.

But it's making Him seem far away, this semi-silent treatment I've accidentally been giving Him. And as I stared at this ceiling, I wondered if my prayers were going to get past it--would they get through this plaster and into the higher, holier realm?

And I felt a whisper. A gentle one. One I've come to know as our God's: They will never get that far. Your prayers will never even reach that ceiling. I am is so much nearer than that. 

And the restless stir in me finally rested.

And maybe you need to know it too. Your prayers aren't bouncing off that ceiling.

Your Father heard that whispered prayer long before it reached that fan.

Your Father wiped that tear before it hit that pillow.

No, our prayers aren't bouncing off of these ceilings. They'll never get that far.

The ears of our God are so much nearer than that.

So let's lean back against this great big God who has come so close. And whisper or weep or shout those words that have caught in our throats, those prayers we've silenced, those things we keep pretending we've forgotten.

May you know His presence and His rest tonight.

He is so near.

He cares so much!