When God answered my prayer that day on the street, my soul felt it. It felt it in this weird sort of way in which I was always aware of my deep want of that answer to my prayer. It was a want that I could not manifest out of my flesh by sheer will if I tried.
And maybe that's what kept me from praying for anything else at the moment.
I just couldn't muster up that kind of want for anything else, and by comparison, whatever want that I did have didn't feel like want at all. It felt...I don't know. It just had this feeling like it was my brain, and perhaps my heart a bit, more than my soul that wanted anything, and it felt cheap. That's the word I'm looking for. It just felt cheap.
There is no want in the world that is so deep, so passionate, so raw and authentic as the want that organically rises out of a weary soul as it stands in front of its trouble one more time. You can't duplicate that. I suppose the answer is to really throw yourself into things and engage so deeply in life that its troubles weary you - and there's a certain blessing to that - but really, not everyone is wired that way. Not everyone has the resilience to live like that. But that kind of moment, it just changes your whole perspective on "want."
And since we're on the subjects, let me say here that prayer is a great way to figure out what you really want...and to recognize what might be standing in the way of it.
When you start to pray, you probably start to pray with words that you think you're supposed to pray. Words about healing and the goodness of God and the provision of God and the things that you know you can count on from Him...or that you think you're supposed to know you can count on. Our prayer always seems to start really formal, as if our pastor might walk in at any moment and assess our spiritual condition based on how "well" we pray or something. We always seem to start to pray the way that we've heard others pray.
If you're like me, though, there comes this moment when you start to feel the disconnect between what you're praying and your heart. This is where most of us wander. This is where we get distracted, and our minds trickle off to other things. It's because we don't recognize what's happening - and what's happening is that the God we're praying to is not the God we love. It's not the God we know most intimately. We feel that distance, so we break from it.
But if we tune into that feeling, we can pick up on a deeper disconnect - a truth about what we really want and what we really expect and maybe even what we're holding onto. For example, I have prayed prayers in my life for healing and yes, I have wanted healing, but in the midst of praying the prayer, I have also realized how scared healing makes me. Because what I really want first is understanding. I want to know what's going on, what caused it, what its effects might be, and how to prevent it from happening again before I just get "healing."
Maybe that sounds bad, like I should just trust God to heal me fully and completely and not have to worry about it, but God knit me together this way, and I think He's okay with it. But I like these moments because they help me put perspective on my challenges. I can see very clearly what path I am really taking through them and what I really want to happen. And I know that some of that is my own planning, so I have to practice surrender, too. But the whole thing changes my prayer. Instead of praying for healing, which I want, I start to pray for understanding, for surrender, and for healing. This brings me to a more authentic prayer.
It brings me closer to a crying out, but again, all of the self-reflection and heart-honesty in the world won't ever get me to want something the way my soul organically just wants it when it's weary.
The good news is that all the self-reflection and heart-honesty kind of wearies me sometimes, so maybe....
The point is this: when God answers your prayer, if you can't think of another single legitimate, authentic want...it's okay. In fact, I think it's good. It's natural. There's something about connecting soul-to-God that, again, just stills us, and it's okay to just love that moment and let it be and not burden it with a bunch of other things.