When I first started praying again, at university, as an undergraduate (see My Story), the image of God I held most strongly in my mind was an image of Jesus as Friend. And I told Him stuff that I didn’t feel I could ever trust anyone else with, and I told Him about things that had really upset me, and I used to cry often in prayer.
And that meant that prayer got hard. It became associated in my mind with being vulnerable and sad. So the motivation to pray waned. Last week, when we were led in prayer – “let God look at you” – I found that I could pray without getting upset. I could bring very specific things before God, as aked by the spiritual directors, and think of things other than those which made me upset – or even angry – with God.
It wasn’t always like that last week. Sacred Space moved me to tears as I thought of God and how short I’d fallen of His standards. Thursday, too, I was at a point where I could do little but cry to God in prayer. But, as we learnt different ways of praying, and considered multiple images of “God” – ones that took me far beyond the image of Jesus as Friend – a separation between prayer and being upset became possible.
I feel blessed to have learnt how to get to a place within myself where I can come before God, whatever frame of mind I’m in.