God said, “Stop praying”

May 11, 2009

After a job interview, it is customary to perform self-flagellation.

At least, that’s what my mind does to me. And today’s interview went rather well! The time flew by and I enjoyed myself. I left happy, thinking, “I actually have a decent shot at this job.” But that didn’t stop my mind from playing its dirty tricks.

Replaying specific sections. Pointing out the flaws, the obvious and clear answers I had overlooked.

“You rambled,” my mind says. “You talked in circles, hoping that if you did that long enough, you’d eventually stumble on the answer you knew was there. But did you forget? You’re an introvert! You have clarity only after you leave the scene and have a chance to reflect on things. So the result is that you were a babbling idiot. You blew it.”

“Stop, mind!” I say. “There’s nothing you or I can do about it now, so shut up!”

But the knot of unease grows. It’s not healthy. I know what to do: I will turn my anxieties into prayers. “God, help! I really, really want this job!”

But God interrupted. Suddenly, and quite clearly: “Stop. You already have a lot of people praying for you today, so you don’t need to. Be quiet. Stop praying.”

My anxiety immediately lifted. But how odd, to be told by God to stop praying.

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

11 responses to God said, “Stop praying”

  1. Wow Jon…that’s very interesting. Can’t say I’ve ever had that happen…

  2. Nor I, Carrie. But I sure feel better.

  3. i think you just paraphrased, “Be still and know that I am God.” Rest well friend, God hasn’t told me to stop praying for you yet so I’ll continue.

  4. Terri, thank you! …And interesting observation.

  5. So.. like.. how does Gods voice sound to you when he speaks? Is it your own voice or does he sound more like Alec Guinness?

  6. Saluzar, I think God’s voice would sound like Alec Guinness only if I were Alec Guinness. 🙂 Really, God’s voice is almost identical to your own thoughts, but the quality is different. We are each very used to hearing our own internal dialog. One big clue to help me distinguish God’s voice is when I am surprised by what I hear.

  7. 🙂 hmmm… id say you certainly nailed that one. Nope , no internal dialogue masquerading as God here… these aren’t the thoughts you’re looking for, move along…

  8. i find your blog highly offensive.try reading the Bible and see how you feel about this in 21 days…i challenge u.

  9. Deb,
    I am trying to come up with a response, but it’s difficult because I have no idea what I wrote that you disagree with (or find “highly offensive”). Can you be more specific?

  10. Joyce Meyers calls the prayers prayed when we’re just worrying, stupid prayers. Ha ha. We can certainly make ourselves miserable when we are just complaining and worrying instead of believing God for the best that he has for us.

  11. Helen, I’ve never heard of “stupid prayers.” That’s exactly what I was doing! What a great term.