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Do you ever feel like life is complicated?
It’s not supposed to be complicated. Jesus gave His life so we could have joy (John 10:10), not live complicated, frustrated lives. Complication steals joy and creates frustration.
I have a lot going on, and it can become complicated if I let it. We have hundreds of employees and travel around the world…I have books to write and speaking engagements. It’s sometimes hard to enjoy it all.
Life is probably not going to change, but I’ve learned that—with God’s help—I can change my approach to it. And making those changes starts with prayer.
Simplicity is the key to avoiding complication. Part of the definition of simplicity is “not complex or complicated; sincere.” So we could say that simple prayer is sincere prayer. It’s talking to God without trying to impress Him with eloquent speech that isn’t really from your heart.
We need to pray simple prayers about everything so we won’t stress-out about anything. And we need to pray our way through the day, seeking God’s help and asking Him to be involved in whatever we’re doing.
Proverbs 3:5,6 (NKJV) says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
As I’ve prayed about how to simplify my life, God has revealed several ways to approach life that have made a big difference for me. One of them is praying for discernment about what I need to deal with and what I need to leave alone.
Before I learned this, I was a first-class nag. I had to know everything that was going on, and I usually had to give my opinion about it all. For example, if my kids were doing something and I didn’t like how they were doing it, I had to “correct” them, even if it was something that didn’t really matter. And if Dave was on the phone in another room, I wanted to go in there to hear what he was talking about.
I remember a time years ago when Dave and I had meetings at our house with our secretary. I had my meeting first and when we were done, Dave wasn’t ready to meet with her yet. So I left the room to go take a bath, but I really wanted to hang around and hear what they talked about during their business meeting.
When I got in the bathtub, I heard their voices through the floor vent but couldn’t make out what they were saying. Well, curiosity got the best of me, and I actually got out of the tub and on the floor by that vent, trying to hear what was going on. It was ridiculous!
Thank God I’ve learned how to determine what I really need to deal with and how to let the rest go. My life is so much better! Now I give God the chance to deal with things and then tell me if I need to do anything. Because the truth is, I don’t have to be involved in everything that’s going on.
Another approach I’ve learned to take is clearing out the clutter. I believe one reason people get frustrated and overwhelmed is because they have piles of stuff everywhere they look. And our surroundings affect us more than we realize.
Some people have a hard time getting rid of stuff. If that’s you, pray for God to give you the courage to get rid of things you don’t really need or things He wants you to give away. This will help keep your surroundings organized and clutter free.
If you’re struggling with a complicated, frustrating life, change your approach. Pray about it. As you trust God and acknowledge Him in all your ways, He will show you just what to do.
For more on this topic, order Joyce’s book, The Power of Simple Prayer.
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