Sometimes I'm self-conscious of my prayers. It's not that I have an issue praying in public or talking to God, but sometimes I don't feel like my prayers are fulfilling their potential. Sometimes I don't feel like my prayers are properly focused.
"Lord, help me pass this test."
"Lord, heal my loved one."
"Lord, fix the air conditioner in my car."
Me, my, mine, I. Wrong focus.
That's not saying that I shouldn't bring my requests to God, but when's the last time I've prayed a big prayer? Bigger than what's described in a medical dictionary. Bigger than my life, my family, my circumstances. When's the last time that I've prayed for those I don't know and may never meet, but I know of their problems?
Wait...that's right...I don't read (or watch) the news, so I'm not aware of what is beyond my immediate world.
Not reading the news means that more stress over the problems of others isn't added to my life, but it also means that I can't pray for others if I don't know about them.
Not reading the news means that I'm safe in my own little bubble, but ignorance doesn't change circumstances; prayer does. Yet, even though I'm "safe," my prayers are dry, dull, and self-centered, because I pray the same prayers repeatedly (if at all).
My challenge for myself is to read local, state, national, and international news. By being aware of prayer requests, I can pray and keep praying until I see results.
In order to remember my prayers, I'm starting to write them down: when did I start praying, what is the request, when did God answer it, how was it answered? This way, I can track the answers. How sad is it that when God answers my prayers, I don't even notice?
If you are interested in big prayer topics, check out Voice of the Martyrs, to learn about present day persecutions around the world.
So that's my goal: to pray prayers bigger than just me, my, mine, and I.