Monday, March 10, 2014


I have lots of memories from being a little girl. Some good, some not-so good, and others still that really don't seem worth remembering to anyone besides me. Memories are good for many reasons, and I've learned to cherish every one of them, for they all remind us of where we've been while pushing us on to pursue our dreams. I realize that not everyone shares that same perspective when it comes to memories, but it's one I am confident that I will never waver from. There is, for me, one consistent component to each memory that has affected me more deeply than the others: prayer.

Prayer has always been something I have clung to, the place that has been my safe haven when all the world around me seems to be spinning out of control. Even when I was just a wee little girl, I would spend hours praying, sometimes for the simple fact that no one else, it seemed, was listening to me. God knew my secrets + my fears + my doubts + my confusion + the things that made me the happiest . He knew everything about me. He, also, heard names from my lips often, and even when I wasn't really sure what was going on, I was confident that He was taking care of it all. Turns out, I'm not so different from that little girl I once was; in fact, He has become my confidant a little more with every new day. I still run to Him with all the things I've always run to Him with, and He still saves the day on a regular basis.

This past week, I was blessed with hearing three different sermons preached on prayer, and the challenge that has come with each of them has left me wanting to be in communication with my King of kings + Lord of lords + Savior + Father + Friend + Confidant even more. I can still recall the very first sermon I heard on the topic + importance of prayer. I was in sixth grade, my great uncle, Dennis, was preaching, and he simply said, "Our prayers must mean something to us if we expect them to mean something to God." Before that moment, I had prayed because I knew He was listening, because I needed Him. It was in that moment that God showed me that He had placed the cares + concerns + fears in my life so that I would cast them upon Him. Even before I knew that 1 Peter 5:7 existed, I knew He cared for me, that He wanted to bear my burdens for me. If the things I go to the Lord about in prayer break my heart, I know they break His more. If I care deeply about the things I pray about, I can't imagine how much the Creator of all things cares about them.

Today, I offer you three challenges, the same three that my gracious God has been working in and through me. First, keep praying even when it seems that everyone else has stopped. Pray generously. Pray for the triumph of God's people. Pray for the salvation of those who are not yet His through Christ Jesus. Pray earnestly. Pray without fail. Pray expectantly. Ask. Seek. Knock. My pastor, Walt, compared knocking to having perseverance yesterday morning in his teaching, and James 1:4 immediately came to mind: "Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." Verse 5 continues that statement by telling us to ask for wisdom if we don't have it. Pray. Pray continually. Even when you feel as if you're the only one doing it. My second challenge is simple yet so convicting: when Jesus comes again, will He find you praying? Jesus, Himself, asks a form of this question in Luke 18:8 when He asks if He will find faith when He returns. Prayer is a symptom of our faith. It is my prayer that that previous statement of truth convicts hearts and prompts us to do what we are commanded to do: pray. Third, I invite you to consider this, a truth that has been messing me up in the best way for the past year: we must never stop praying, not to get what we want, but to acknowledge Who we are praying to. May we pray, as 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, continually, without fail, always.

"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, and intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone--for kings, and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives with all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men...I want men everywhere to lift up holy hand in prayer..."
-1 Timothy 2:1-6,8

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