Getting back to the basics…this phrase begs the question of what are the basics? This concept can apply to any area of our lives but I want to refer specifically to prayer here. There are times when my prayer life is non existent. Now, I know – what kind of confession is that? It’s a true confession. Sometimes, prayer brings clarity into what I’ve left undone or haven’t been consistent in doing when I know I should have. Prayer causes me to confront my case that I present before God, in which, I must plead guilty. The truth is, sometimes, I don’t know what to pray for and I don’t know how to pray for other things. Here’s the thing, I struggle with praying for people/about things that I don’t understand. I am constantly in my head, always thinking, trying to figure things out…when I lack understanding, I often get frustrated and then proceed to try to understand whatever it is. Now, you may be thinking, well, why not just pray for understanding? Good question, but I tend to think that If I have things figured out, my prayers will be less aggravating to God. Prayer doesn’t only show you where you are as far as progression is concerned but it shows you the possibility of the progress you can still make. Prayer, as an encouraging component of the basics, for me, convicts and confirms. It measures in terms that matter, how we move and tends to reveal why we moved when we did and whether or not we could have made it out from where we were differently. I learn a great deal about myself and others through prayer.
“Back to the basics” is a concept that cautions us of conceding of how far we’ve come and can apply to other areas of our lives, excluding prayer. For example: expectations we have in relationships, how we conduct business, how we listen and consider others, what we prefer and what we don’t prefer, etc. Going back to the basics is a dangerous undertaking because it makes us aware of the foundational things that we (may have) missed. Perhaps, we never, initially, encountered the basics…maybe we were never taught certain things…but for those things that we were taught – what lessons have we lost and not learned? When we revisit order and righteousness, there, we find reason and a functioning code of conduct. We tend to lack progress because we start at places other than the beginning, when handling certain situations, circumstances, relationships, thought patterns, etc.
I know that I won’t understand everything but I do endeavor to try to figure things out. I’m becoming convinced that there are some things that I just won’t understand and that there is a type of logic that I will not attain; there are some people’s order of operations-whether they were taught ‘the basics’ or not, that I really need to give up trying to understand because I’ve never been able to. Considering this, returning to prayer, I’m learning that it readies me for what I do and even what I can’t or won’t understand – and that includes people and circumstances and seasons of lack and seasons of surplus. It’s interesting, what keeps me from understanding is usually my bearing down on my own understanding or becoming consumed by my inability or not having the capacity to understand. I can retreat back to the basics and learn the lessons that I’d lost or re-learn the way in which the order of those basics gives me a foundation to stand on and navigate all of life’s happenings from that place of standing. I have work to do and still have lessons to learn and I’ll understand it better as I build on the basics (what I know is right; whether it feels or seems right, regardless of the test, circumstances, fear, doubt, etc.).
What are the basics that you were taught? Have adopted (tried & true)?
What do you struggle to understand, if anything?
Where would you be able to go if you operated in an order that made moving (physically, financially, socially, spiritually) an easy and efficient endeavor?
What are your thoughts about going back to the basics? Are the basics necessary?
When we realize where we are in comparison to where we want to be, what is often missing?
As always – Stay blessed, a blessing & encouraged as you go back and build on the basics. Oh, and if you haven’t been taught the basics, I’ll just advise you to pray and find out through that avenue about how to be better and find a balance to stand where you are.