“Prayer is the acid test of devotion.”–Samuel Chadwick
As I reflect on 9/11, I can remember praying constantly all day long that day. I was fearful, paralyzed with shock, dismayed, devastated, sick to my stomach, stunned, sad, and the list goes on and on. I was home schooling Brewer at the time, and we just sat in front of the TV for the rest of the day. The next day was kind of a blur but I vividly remember opening our home for an evangelist, Adrian Despres, to come and share a message and an hour of prayer for anyone who wanted to come. Adrian had been leading a men’s Bible study in our home on Thursday mornings for years. The day after 9/11 we had this special meeting at lunch time. Needless to say our home was packed. People were shoulder to shoulder. PEOPLE WERE IN NEED OF COMFORT AND GOD! Funny how when things spin way out of control who do we go to? God. Even our nation at that time and the liberal news media called for “PRAYER FOR OUR NATION.”
As the years have passed, and 9/11 has come and gone this year, God has convicted my heart to open our home to prayer. Not sure what that looks like yet, but I know God will show me. I love prayer. It has been a slow process for me as a maturing Christian to understand the need for and the “Power that comes from Prayer!”
Prayer is communication with ALMIGHTY GOD. He desires for us to have ongoing communication with HIM. 1Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray continually!” In knowing Christ, communication is KEY. With any IMPORTANT, THRIVING RELATIONSHIP, communication is the “life blood” and it certainly is to a powerful life in Christ.
As I mature in my prayer life, I have found that God desires a daily dependence on HIM. In the Lord’s prayer it states, “Give us this day, our daily bread,” which really says to me, “Come to me daily for your needs!” God does not desire for us to give Him a “big list of needs on a one shot deal once a week” and be done. He desires to give us enough daily and to come back the next day. A “daily dependence” on HIM. That establishes a daily communication which grows a relationship. Sometimes we treat prayer like we treat going to church at Christmas and Easter. God doesn’t desire a “microwave relationship!” He desires a “slow cook” relationship. I even describe it as a “simmering” relationship! We eat multiple times a day to nourish our bodies so we remain strong and capable of functioning throughout our day. SHOULDN’T WE DO THAT WITH PRAYER?
Sometimes we pray and we don’t even realize our prayers are geared toward “self-sufficiency” which is our sinful nature coming out. God desires for our lives to be dependent on HIM. He wants to be the “ENABLER” in our life, the “Source from whom all blessings flow.” Could it be that when we pray we want God to provide more so that we need Him less?
In the “BACK 9” of life, my prayer life has become exhilarating. I have come to realize that prayer and the power of prayer is exciting. God does answer!! It may not always be the answer we are looking for, but HE ANSWERS. And the more I have prayed and trusted, the more I have seen that HIS TIMING IS PERFECT. In the last 6 years, my prayer life has grown by leaps and bounds. I have learned to beseech God in areas and trust Him, with COMPLETE AND UTTER BLINDNESS. I have been in absolute AWWWWWW! With not only HIS answers, but the way He answers. Sometimes, HE, GOD, has told me to do some things that just didn’t make sense but I trusted and was completely stunned at the outcome. It was far better than I could have imagined. Very much like when God told Peter to go back out and cast the nets in deep water, after Peter had been fishing all night and had caught nothing. It didn’t make a bit of sense, but Peter did it. His catch was so large, his nets were ripping.
Because I didn’t rely on “my own understanding” but trusted God, and not my humanness, God has shown so brightly to me!! God is always going to tell us to do things and sometimes take us down a road that we have absolutely no idea where it leads, which requires TREMENDOUS FAITH. As we trust and obey, our confidence, faith and prayer life grow because:
a) we prayed
b) we listened
c) we obeyed
d) God moved!
WE have to do a, b, and c for God to “show HIMSELF” in a personal way to all of us. Remembering that God is not on our timetable and we have to have patience which is part of the “fruit of the spirit.” I am not unique. I love to have other people to pray with me. But God wants me praying so that I know that I know that I know, it was HIM talking to me and answering my prayers, not in response to someone else’s prayers who I may deem has a stronger walk. HE wants everyone to SEEK HIM AND TO PRAY so that HE can be PERSONAL and REAL to them.
I have learned that complications in life are sometimes God ordained to teach us, to grow us, and to enrich our prayer life. Hope this doesn’t discourage you as much as it encourages you to SEEK God in a daily prayer time and throughout the day.
Mark Batterson, in his book entitled, “The Circle Maker,” speaks volumes about prayer. It is a book that is so encouraging and will grow your prayer life. It will encourage you and inspire you to “draw circles or walk circles around your prayers.” If you are not a praying person, go get this book. Read it. I promise, you will not be disappointed. Many of you know that I promote reading. If you are not reading, you are choosing a “life of ignorance” as John Wooden stated so well. The Bible is, of course, the best book I have ever or will ever read. It is the first book I read daily. But I absolutely love the books that God has inspired others to write that detail personal experiences and life lessons from an ALL-POWERFUL, ALL-KNOWING GOD.
I will leave you with two of my favorite Scriptures on prayer. James 1:6, “But let him ask in FAITH, with no DOUBTING, for doubt is like a wave on the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” And Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by PRAYER and SUPPLICATION with THANKSGIVING, let YOUR requests be made known to God. And the PEACE of God, which surpasses ALL UNDERSTANDING will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”