Prayer As Recovery
Prayer brought me back to my soul. Discover how prayer can help you with a 30 day challenge below.
I thought I could pray with the best of them…
I grew up Catholic on the far Southside of Chicago, and attended Catholic School from Grades 1–12. No one was more about the cross than Young Nicole: from weekly mass every Tuesday, to weekends spent at Church functions, to taking a Religion class as a requirement every year. Me, the big J (Jesus ya’ll), and the Saints were riding deep.
Yet nothing that I learned in those awkward, anxious formative years of my life prepared me for a moment I experienced as an adult, when I was alone on the back porch of my house. There, at one of the lowest points in my life, I started to try and pray — and I didn’t know where to begin. I realized that the God I was taught about all those years ago was not the God I understood in the present day. To me the God of my youth was always watching. Judging. Kept me stuck in a story of guilt, shame, and sin. That Catholic guilt I grew up with was not going to help me now — my spirit was rejecting that image of God and was calling out for something more.
I found that I couldn’t turn to this God in prayer about my problem on that porch. I needed a different understanding of who God/Spirit was and how I would communicate with them. Reflecting in that moment I realized graduate school had become my church. I spent most of my 20s and the first part of my 30s learning and implementing dense theories, moving through the rites of what I thought being an “academic” meant. God became the powers of higher education that I tried to let mold me and my life into what society and others wanted me to be.
Neither image of God was really true, and so I did what I normally do: I began to re-engage with who I knew God to be by going back to basics and understanding the purpose of prayer.
Academic recovery for me meant I could not fix my life by myself. I needed spiritual help, a spiritual intervention that started with prayer. These are the things I have learned in my studies and praxis.