Thoughts and PrayersNov 09, 2023
One of the greatest gifts we have down here on earth is the ability to talk to God. But just like anything else in life, sometimes our thoughts get in the way of us using this gift the way we want to.
For many of us, there are a lot of thoughts that can get in the way of our conversations with God, that prevent us from opening up to him, that make us feel guilty and self-conscious, and stop us from making him a trusted confidant that we want to talk to and listen to.
In today’s episode of the podcast, we’re talking about how your thoughts about God and your thoughts about yourself create your relationship with God and impact both the frequency with which you talk to him and the level of intimacy you feel when you do. If you want to improve your communication with heaven, this episode is for you.
Welcome to the 100% Awesome Podcast with April price. You might not know it but every result in your life is 100% because of the thoughts you think and that my friends is 100% awesome.
Hello podcast universe! Welcome to episode 236 of the 100% Awesome Podcast. Gosh, are you guys sick of it. Just reminds me like when it's very first star this podcast like maybe episode 5 or 6 pack my dad on the phone and he was like, aren't you afraid you're going to run out of things to say, I guess that didn't need to really be a concern right? Like maybe some of you instead are afraid that I'm never going to run out of things to say and you are going to be here forever. Reminds me when I was pregnant. I was always just like at the beginning so sick and I remember thinking like, oh my gosh, like being scared to die, but then after a while of being sick I was like really scared that I wasn't going to die. Just like David. I'm trying to die here if I just can't make it happen, and what if I feel this bad forever, right? I remember those were the days, bless any of you who are in the middle of that?
Well anyway, thank you. Thank you for being here. Thank you for listening. Thank you for sharing the podcast and passing it on to people and special. Thank you to those of you who have left a review on Apple podcast or Spotify mean so much to me. When you do that when you leave a review when you share your opinion about the podcast it makes me feel like what I'm doing matters and sometimes my brain needs the reinforcement, you know, my brain is pretty sure sometimes that it doesn't matter so your reviews and your ratings and when you go on there and offer your opinion about it, it makes a big difference to me and to other people who are who are looking for something to listen to.
So, if this podcast has been useful to you leave me a review, okay, and a quick reminder to all of you that you are dying, so don't forget to live while you got the chance. It is the craziest thing but our brain whose entire function is to keep us alive and is so good at that job of keeping us from dying. Sometimes that brain also keeps us from living and I recently took a little trip with my husband to Colorado and as we were talking about going on that trip my brain just kept saying no we shouldn't do that. You know, there's too much to do there's too many things to take care of there's like, you know, that's just like an expensive. We don't need to make an and my brain is just always saying no no no to whatever I want, right and we had such a good time. And if I listen to my brain, we definitely wouldn't have done it.
So don't let your brain talk to you out of the things that you want the life that you want. Don't let it talk you out of the boy that you want the experiences that you want the relationships you want you are alive, which means this is your chance and you get to live your life the way you want to and love the life you were living. And again, if you ever want help with that I think coaching is just the best way to get your brain out of your way. So, you are all invited to try coaching with me to sign up for a free coaching call anytime at my website Aprilpricecoaching.com. I usually have spots every week or so where you can get on there and try coaching for yourself right now. I am currently taking one-on-one clients and having such amazing sessions one-on-one with the people that I'm working with and it's just like seeing so much progress and so much gross and like awareness and it's just so powerful.
So, I have a couple spots open and so if you have been wanting to work with me now is the time to get on a call and try that, okay. All of that out of the way and so on to the episode I have been thinking about this episode actually for a few weeks. Now if I'm honest probably more than that, but I just keep putting it off. I just keep putting it off because it feels like such a personal subject and it feels like I am, you know, pretty unqualified to talk about it.
And I think prayer and talking to God is such a personal secret thing and that I never want to give you the impression that you were doing it wrong. Like you cannot do it wrong, even if you aren't doing it and I know it's going to sound like like blasphemy to some of you but I really think that the biggest thing that gets in our way when we talked to God is our shame and so any time we tell ourselves that we're doing it wrong and we need to do better a and that we are lacking in that shame comes in there, it's only going to make things worse. All right, so you do not need any more shame or guilt when it comes to your relationship with God there is plenty of that out there and I want to share these ideas so that you can increase your communication with God if you want to but not to make you wrong, right and so that has to be the deal like whatever I talked about that you only use it for you. Don't use what I'm going to say against yourself. But remember if your brain wants to create shame out of anything, I say like I just want you to shut that down because shame only keeps us hiding from God not talking and keeps us avoiding him and you know keeping him out of our life and distance from him. So, all right, there is no shame here at all for the way that you are doing it, alright that has to be the rule.
So, today I want to talk about prayer. I think prayer is one of the greatest gifts that we have been given as humans here, on this lonely Planet and we have a chance to communicate and talk with the Divine, to talk to God but a lot of us including me that our brains get in the way of this gift. And so, that's what I want to talk about. It's about like just removing the barriers that your brain is producing in your relationship with God. So just to start when you remember that prayer is an action. Obviously, it's something that we do, right and all actions are fueled by thought which means that we are either taking action and praying and communicating with God or we're not taking action. We're not praying not talking to him because of what we're thinking we take that action because of our thoughts the way we take that action is because of our thoughts and so for most humans There can be a lot of thoughts that get in the way of our conversations with God that prevent us from talking to him that stop us from making him a trusted Confidant that we want to talk to and that we want to listen to and I think looking at some of these thoughts will be really useful to those of you that that want a better communication with heaven.
And so, just as a baseline foundation, I want you to remember what we've talked about on this podcast about relationships in general and want you to remember that relationships never exist outside of you. There isn't an entity a relationship entity that exists separate from you and separate from your own brain. It's not even relationships are not even something that we share with someone else your relationships. All of your relationships are happening inside your head. Your marriage relationship for example is yours. Your spouse has a different marriage relationship inside their head, right? That's why we have a completely different experience inside the same relationship because you don't have a relationship together. You have one in your head and the other person has the relationship in their head your relationship with their children is different than their relationship with you.
Okay, so your relationships are simply a collection of thoughts that you have about that other person and about yourself in relation to them. So, essentially it's like all the thoughts you have about them all the thoughts you have about like how they feel about you. And then how you feel about yourself in relation to them inside that relationship and it is no different when it comes to your relationship with God your relationship with God is created by your thoughts about him. Your thoughts about what he thinks about you and what you think about yourself as his child. Alright, so in other words, it's like all the thoughts about him.
Do you think he's a good father? Do you think he cares? Do you think he has your best interest at heart additional? He's everything you think he thinks about you like what is his opinion of you? How does he regard you? How does he think about you and it also includes all the thoughts you have about yourself. Do you think about yourself as a good son or daughter? Do you think of yourself as like a problem child, right? Like, how do you think about yourself as his child, right? And P.S. That is why shame is just so unhelpful in the relationship cuz when we think badly about ourselves and we think God thinks badly about ourselves pretty soon like we are a road that relationship.
Okay until lately. I've just heard from a lot of different people this feeling that like, I just feel so distanced from God, right and I want you to know that that distance is created. Are your thoughts just thoughts about him your thoughts about yourself your thoughts about what he thinks of you like those thoughts are what are creating the distance. So, for example, if we think about him as a referee or as a judge or as like a Santa Claus figure or maybe like a temperamental boss, maybe if we think about him as a dictator or like a sort of like a high-level administrator far removed from the day-to-day Affairs of Life on this planet, right or even if we think about him as a father depending on how your own relationship with your father is sometimes even that can be positive or negative, right? And so, the way that we view him the way that we see him is going to make an impact on that relationship the same goes for the way that you think about yourself if you think about yourself as a problem to him as a burden to him as a disappointment to him, maybe think about yourself as a spoiled child or a spoiled. Maybe think of yourself as a nuisance or unimportant or sometimes even like ridiculous or silly. That's what my brain will tell me all the time in my relationship with God like you're just so ridiculous.
Like he doesn't have time for your return and your your emotion in your problems and all of that right like our opinion or self is going to make such a difference. They're all right. So that relationship is based on the wizard, I think about him and the way that I think about myself and the quality of that relationship the quality of those thoughts are them to determine the frequency with which I talked to him and the level of intimacy I have with him when I talk to him. And I just want you to notice like that. Those thoughts are going to make a difference about how often we go to him. How old when we are how we feel when we do it. And if you want to talk more I really want you to consider how you think about him the image of him in your mind and how you think about yourself in relation to him. So, I just want to give you a thought that's been really useful to me as I think about him and that is that all the descriptions of God in the scriptures and we have lot a of them right? There are a lot of versions of God inside the scriptures themselves with all the descriptions that we get.
My favorite image is the father in the story of The Prodigal Son. And that is the image that I try to have in my mind as I pray to God and I think about that idea that he was just always watching for me. He's always like watching the road. He always wants to hear From me and like from a great way off. The scripture says he never stops looking for you. He never stops looking for me and a couple weeks ago. I told you about my brother who recently ran 100 mile race and as he was kind of talking about that race and doing sort of a recap. He said one of the things that he was so grateful for was my dad and he described him just like that from the scripture. Why dad was there like cheering me on and looking for me and watching for me even when I was a great way off and that was so touching for me because I had a very similar experience with my dad at 29029 and he was there at every ascent and he was always watching he and my mom would sit by the windows and watch the tree line and Caleb was always kind of walking ahead of me and he had these bright orange shoes and he said he would just like watch that tree line looking for those shoes so that he could come out and greet us and be there and you know he washed.
Tonight we were hiking in in the middle of the night and he was still there at those Ascent watching that tree line and what stands out to me and what I want to express to you. Is that like my dad could not remove the pain of that experience for me. And actually I didn't want him to write but he never stopped watching and you know, he would give me his hat. He was like 80 you look so cold even give me his hat to write down on the Gondola in and do whatever he could to give them the smallest comfort.
I remember one time on one of those the later as since we were there in the lodge preparing to go back down on the Gondola and some people were like in line getting fries and I was like, oh my gosh, that sounds so good and I had to go change my clothes and get out of my wet stuff to go to back down in and do another ascend and while I was doing that my dad's just fine for half hour buying these fries and then like when he gave them to me, I was so sick. I could only eat a couple of them. I'm so sorry. You just didn't like them and then I I only had a couple of them and he was just like I would do anything to help, it doesn't matter, right? And I just like that image of the father watching and that image of like sometimes as we go through our life and we offer prayers and it feels like maybe we didn't get relief like we're still in pain like it's still hard like it's for still cold and it's still difficult. I think our brain wants to make it mean like he's not there and he doesn't care and I love this image that like, he never stops watch even if he can't change the pain for me.
He never stopped watching and he's in line buying fries for me and I just think giving yourself another image of God depending on how you've traditionally seen him can make an impact on your prayers and on the way that you seek comfort from him. And so I think this image of the prodigal can be a really useful one. Okay, now I just want to talk specifically about like very specific thoughts regarding prayer that keep us from praying and against some of these thoughts are about God and some of them are about us but as I talk about them, I want to just examine if they're come up for you if they get in your way if they are a barrier to you is like as you go to open your mouth and prayer if these thoughts come to your mind, I just want to kind of Point them out and show them to you so that you can consider changing them so that you can have more open communication with God for you.
Right, remember that communication is for you to be a comfort to you. God doesn't need you to pray to him. It is just he is there for you. So, like I'm only offering you to change these thoughts if that's something that you want, okay. The first thought that I think it's in the way of talking to God is this thought that like my stuff isn't that important? He's got bigger problems to solve his recently. I've seen this a lot like as I just pray about the things in my life. My brain is just like April that's like a really first world problem and God's got a lot on his plate right now, right and almost immediately. I just think about like the suffering in the world and the great Wars and contentions and pain and death and destruction is happening in the world right now and my brain is just like okay, this is so unimportant. Like he doesn't need to hear this from you right now.
Like I said, we just went to Colorado and I was sitting there in the airport waiting for our flight out and I was just overwhelmed by like how many people were in that airport? And as I looked around the airport I was like, there's so many brains in this airport. There's so many thoughts in this airport. There's so many feelings in this Airport. So many heartaches and problems and grease and burdens and challenges this airport. And I was like and this is just one airport, right and in a country that is like listen relative. Peace and still there are so many problems. And again, my brain was to make that mean that like, you shouldn't bother god with your stupid.
He's got bigger problems to solve and my brain will hear my prayers and hear my words the words coming out of my mouth and scoff at me and make fun of me and just like be like the editor on my shoulder being like that's your problem like get a grip. God has more important things to do than to listen to this and I just went off either thought that that is never true. First of all, he has unlimited capacity to hear everyone's prayer. He has unlimited capacity to comfort everyone. She has unlimited help available to everyone and their smell like we think about it as a limited supplies for first of all, there's an unlimited supply of help and comfort and second of all. Your life experience is just as important as everyone else's. Your pains are just as real your Sorrows are just as true, and there's no such things as bigger problems or smaller problems. He just always wants to know what's going on for you right now.
You know, this is something I have to talk to my clients about those they will take this is such a little thing. It's not that important. We don't need to talk about it or they'll say this is such a big thing. Like I just don't see how he talking about is going to help and again like we're characterizing the problem as big or small was like it's all the same thing. It's just like the pain created by the interpretation of my brain. And so whatever we go to God with and it is just the pain created by the interpretation of our brain and he wants to know about it. He wants to see how like we're thinking about it and to offer comfort wherever we are whatever we're dealing with. Okay, that brings us to the second thought that I think gets in the way of us talking to God is the thought that like I'm just complaining right like I'll start talking about how I'm feeling and my brain is like, oh my gosh, stop complaining like you just need more faith. You need more strength, you need more courage. You need more gratitude, you need to be stronger. So that like you don't again have to bother him with this like for heaven sakes just stop complaining.
My brain will say like listen, you already know the answer just have more faith and stop complaining, you know what to do. You just need to do it and I just want to tell you that telling God about your Earth life experience is not complaining. It's just sharing your experience. You have a son on a mission right now and when he writes which is very rarely when we get on a on a FaceTime call. I just a little more regular she could say anything and I just want to hear about his experience right? It's not complaining, it's just like just tell me what's happening for you. Tell me your experience. I want to know it all. And the other thing that I would just say there is I've recently my daughter as you know got married and she's told me a couple of times it like through text or or on the phone. She'll be like, okay. I know I'm supposed to be an adult now and so I shouldn't need to ask this and then she like ask me the question but I was like, where did you get the thought but at some point you should just know everything and you shouldn't have to ask like where did you get that thought that like that? There's a point that like you should no longer need to like talk to me or ask me or that you should know it already and I think like we just have such unreasonable expectations of our being human.
We think we should be good and we think we should should it should be easier and we think that we shouldn't need help with it and we shouldn't need like so many answers and so much helping so much comfort and I just think where did we get the idea that we should be so independent like what is wrong with expressing our real experience and asking for help and assistance? I think there's nothing wrong with it.
Okay, if the third thought I see it gets in the way is that I'm unworthy. I can't ask until I'm worthy or at all. I'm good, right? She's the idea that there's something wrong with me. And so he doesn't want to hear from me until I fix what's wrong with me and like as soon as I start talking to God and you know telling you how I feel my brain will start listing ways like why I don't deserve to talk to him or ask him anything or or make contact at all, right. It's sort of like keeping a tally of the good I've done in the bad I've done and the things that we're wrong and that he didn't serve enough where I didn't give enough where I was failing and disappoint him and my brain is like running this list. Like hey, you can't talk to him because look at this mess, right and I just think like our negative opinion of ourselves is by far the biggest Block in our relationship with God like more obviously than in any other relationship this relationship is like a reflection of our relationship with our self and if you are disappointed in yourself is so easy to reflect that back to God and to think he is too and it's just so easy for our brains to tell us that he doesn't love me like this or maybe he loves me cuz he's got but he doesn't like me like this when really it's just that we don't like ourselves like this and we project that dislike him that discussed on him.
Here's the thing you guys we're bad at loving us and then somehow we assume that he's bad at it too, but he is good at it. He is good at loving us. Just don't define his ability to love you or like you by your inability to like and love you. What if you didn't think you had to get good first you can stop waiting for his help and his love and his grace. You can stop holding yourself back from his love and his comfort and just like let yourself feel better in his presence. Like I think he gave us the story of The Prodigal because he knew that we would have this thought he would he knew that we would have thought that we're not worthy. And what is the scripture say like was even a concern the father doesn't care that we're not worthy. He knows we're not worthy doesn't care if he's just watching for us. He wants to put the robe on us and that in the ring on her finger and he doesn't care like here's the truth.
You aren't good, but that's not the requirement. Like I literally have to say that to my brain when it starts in on me and I know that a part of my brain starts telling me like why I'm not worthy. I have to tell myself. I'm not good brain, but that is not a requirement. But you have to shut that down before I can just let myself open up and talk to him.
Okay number for the fourth thing that I think gets in the way of us talking to God is thinking that we can't tell him the truth that we can't feel bad and tell him about it that we can't be angry that we can't have doubts that we can't have any negative emotion and that if I'm feeling something negative I for sure, you know can't tell him about it. I got to get to A+ faithful place before I start talking then like what happens is like we have a lot of negative emotion. So, there are these big spaces in time when we're not talking to him and I find that like we are just scared to tell him the truth scared to reveal our true feelings and our doubts are Angus and we put kind of like a mask on when we pray and I think we've been told that that means we don't trust him that we shouldn't have these negative feelings towards him or were or were not really testing him.
You know the other day I was listening to Timothy Keller and he was kind of talking about that said he was talking about Jobe and Jobe is prayers and how Angry Joe was at God and how he didn't understand it was so mad at him and that God love Jobe even in his anger and that in fact like God chastise the friends because his friends weren't talking to to God and so he was like listen job is still talking to me and I think that's really powerful to see that that when we think we we can't be angry we can't be real and we can't express our doubts and we can't express our frustration then we stop talking and that's more offensive to God than them.
Just telling him the truth. I keep wants us as we are. He wants us where we are. He wants us wants to know how we're truly feeling and like he can handle it. So one of the things that really helped me in my relationship and being able to talk to God was was having a coat and understanding that like my coach was never judging me for my feelings are never thinking my feelings were wrong. Right my coach always just knows like this is my brain. This is the interpretation of my brain and I got to talk it out and I got to figure out the you know the way out of it and the emotion that I'm feeling isn't a problem when I saw a god like that that I could tell him everything and that he knew like this is just the interpretation of my brain is not about him.
It's just like me seeing through the glass darkly leave doesn't take it personally because he knows it's not actually about him. It's about me and my old life experience in the way that way. I'm interpreting the darkness down here and not being able to see the truth of it. That's how he can communicate me when I'm honest about where I'm at. Can't communicate with a pretend version of me. Like there's nothing there to work with five of my coach and I'm just like pretending everything's fine. How how am I going to get any comfort? How am I going to get any relief? How am I going to work my way through it? Like it requires your willingness to be authentically real about exactly where you are exactly who you are exactly what you're feeling. That is the key to your relationship with God and so like I think anytime we're trying to hide the truth from God it really prevents us from being able to speak to him. I just want you to know that she can handle it he wants to know and he can handle your negative emotion even when it's about him.
Okay number 5 the 5th thing that I think gets in the way is that it doesn't matter. Anyway, right? Like he's in charge his will is going to be done. Anyway, what is the point of sharing my feelings about it? Right? And I think we have this feeling that like listen, I can't change his mind anyway, so what is the point of Prayer? And you know, I just think it's so important that you would kind of like shift your perspective about the purpose of prayer and in the Bible dictionary. It says the object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant for that are made conditional on are asking for them. So, to use the metaphors that I already used like at 29 or 29 as soon as I told my dad that those fries sounded good. He was like, let me make that happen. It's so like I think there are plenty of times when like God is totally willing to Grant what we what we want and what we need in there just made conditional on are asking for them.
And then there are plenty of times where we he can't change the sea can't change the slope of the mountain can't change the length of the trail right like in those moments when he can't change the sea and you can't make you know, the ascent shorter then he can just to help us change the tea help us change our thoughts about give us comfort in our sorrow. And I think he even respects us and and love this evil or not ready to change the tea. We still want to be mad about it. We still want to feel bad about it. He allows us to feel bad for as long as we want to and morons with us as we do. So when your brain says it doesn't matter or it's not going to help maybe just change the goal of prayer and maybe the goal isn't to change the circumstance and maybe the goal isn't even to be less sad, but simply to be left alone. Maybe it's not to change the paint, but just to be less alone in it know that someone's watching. Be able to talk to God, like what actually do both they will it will help you to feel less sad, I believe but especially it will help you to feel less alone.
And if I could just add one thing here to like sometimes we think it doesn't matter because we think we don't matter and that is never true. You always matter. He always wants to hear from us. Okay, the last. But I think gets in the way I was talking to God is that sometimes were scared of the answer and we're scared that we don't want the same things right that God's Will and our will are different and so like we're not sure that we can trust him and we don't want him to say no. We just like keep our hopes and our plans and our Dream secret so that he can't like, you know take away what we really want and like sometimes you think like we just requires hard things and I don't want hard thing.
So, I don't want to ask right and I think this thought comes back ultimately to our thoughts about him. Like is he the father who is waiting or is he just like uncaring and just said only cares about like how we're performing? And I think the thought that was really helped me is to recognize that we both want the same things that sometimes here on Earth with with the veil of my brain and you know, seeing to the glass darkly. I can't remember what I want. I know that he does right and I know that even if I can't remember it, he's always working for my good. He's always helping me get exactly what I want. It's just that sometimes I can't even remember it. So, I'd like to think about that that like our goals are the same that before I came here. Like we were on the same page and we had the same goal and sometimes down here when I feel like I'm not getting what I'm asking for is because like I forgot I had forgotten like what it is. I really want I can only see the pain I can only see through the glass darkly and I'm I'm not sure here in this pain and then this in this terrible thing that's happening.
I'm not sure that this is what I want any more fetty but he know Is he remembers he watches and he he wants what I want some cuz I just can't remember what I was taught. Right? It's it's again to go back to that metaphor of 29029 in a moment. There was like I don't want to be here. I don't want to be doing this. I don't want to be pursuing this goal. I don't want to be on this mountain right like in the middle of it. You just think like this is not actually what I want but he remembers the goal. He remembers like what I wanted before I came and he's always working with me towards that and like for me I just love that scripture and Luke that talks about how he doesn't give bag gifts that only gives bread and when we're looking at it and it feels like a stone or feels like a scorpion just know that it's just because like I'm seeing through the glass darkly that it's all bread does all fish.
Like really what it comes down to it. Like do I believe he loves me? Do I believe that? He's the guy that watches do I believe that I'm worth loving do I believe that like he is with me then he Mourns with me that he hurts when I hurt like even as I am getting what I want and becoming who I wanted to be when I came to this earth. Do I believe that he still Mourns the difficulty of that work and I think in prayer there is a moment where he will remind you of that or he will remind you of who you are and what you wanted you to remind you that you are not alone to remind you that he is always watching for you and cheering for you and and buying fries for you when he can and letting his heartbreak with you when he can't that's why you need prayer. So, you have a place to go so that you have someone to talk to and hurt someone who understands don't let your brain get in the way of that comfort that love and that understanding don't let your brain get in the way of that relationship. You are on earth. It is hard, but you are not alone and that my friends is 100% Awesome. I love you for listening and I'll see you next week.
Thanks so much for joining me on the podcast today. If you're serious about changing your life you first have to change your mind. And the best way to do that is through coaching. I work with my clients one-on-one to help them change their thoughts and their feelings about themselves their lives and their challenges so that they can live a life. They love if you'd like to work with me one-on-one. You can learn more and schedule a free call to try coaching for yourself at Aprilpricecoaching.com
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