Never underestimate the power of prayer. I have. And I have suffered because of it. Mostly because of my own selfishness and self righteousness, thrown in with some lack of discipline and faith.
I have been learning a lot about prayer lately. This past week has been a struggle to get back into the routine I had begun to get used to before the Christmas break. The words aren’t flowing as easily; the thoughts are drifting all over the place; my head is nodding onto my chest (thanks to a few late nights in a row – 10:30 bed time is NECESSARY!).
But yet, God has been gracious in showing me so many answers to prayer. He has put me into a community of believers that are committed to praying for each other. They are found in some unlikely places, but nevertheless, they are effective in their ministry to me, and have blessed me greatly. They are friends on twitter, blog visitors, bible and book study groups, prayer challengers and warriors, small group members, church and home family.
I am in awe of how God draws believers together. A few simple words – I’m praying for you this morning for…. – a simple request for prayer followed by a few handfuls of “We’re praying for you!”. A direct line to God – not just through my prayers, but through the prayers of the great cloud of witnesses, some of whom I may never get to meet, but all of whom are committed to furthering each other and encouraging, lifting up through prayer.
God has been doing marvelous things in our family! Yes, we are on our third round of sickness with the flu, but he has sustained me with his strength and has opened my eyes to see the bigger picture – after a major attitude failure last time, I don’t want to go back to that. In 2 Kings 6, Elisha is surrounded by the enemy, and his servant has a near meltdown because of the dire situation they are in.
17 But Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
The servant needed to have his eyes opened to SEE that God is GREATER still, so much bigger and beyond whatever we are in. Through Elisha’s PRAYER, he was able to SEE. The more we PRAY the more we SEE. The more we SEE the more we can praise!
I’ve been praying for compassion and kindness and love to grow in my boys, and I am ASTONISHED at what I am seeing. I shouldn’t be, although I expected results in faith, I expected it a little later on. But I shouldn’t be surprised. God is awesome and he loves to answer prayers! He has been changing The Boy’s and JJ’s hearts to lean toward compassion, and I am in awe and so humbled. They are offering to help each other, to share, to encourage and love where before there was stubbornness and selfishness.
Now, of course, there are still times when they don’t choose kindness or compassion. They’re obviously still young and sinners and learning! But it is the beginning of a journey and a work that I PRAY continues in their lives.
Last night I read a quote from Kat at Inspired to Action, while up late on my computer.
“We are more likely to impact our families with a morning on our knees than a late night on the internet.”
Ouch, that hit home, especially considering what I was doing! But you can really fill in the blank with anything – a late night watching tv; a late night chatting with friends online; a late night in general; an early morning wasted instead of spending time in the word. Being online, surfing, blogging and chatting with friends isn’t BAD, it’s GOOD! But just because something is GOOD, doesn’t mean we HAVE to do it all – and if it takes the place of personal prayer and quiet time in our lives, then we need to make some changes.
I want prayer to take priority over EVERYTHING in my life. Once you begin to see the power of prayer at work, it’s pretty much impossible to ignore and there’s no turning back. It takes that first step of faith to START.
How are you praying for your family? Are you discouraged because you’re not seeing results? Have you prayed that your eyes would be opened to see beyond this moment to what God is doing? Friend, he is listening to you and he wants to answer your prayers!
Be encouraged today to thank God for the opportunity to come to him in prayer, and then step out in faith, make the commitment to meet with him every day. Come to him with everything, even if it seems insignificant, and watch him start to work!
1000 Gifts List – Practicing Thanks and Growing in Joy
61. Starbucks and eggnog lattes.
62. Hearing whistling while walking the mall with stressed out shoppers.
63. Being able to take a day off to hit the slopes with the family.
64. Friends online who encourage and uplift each other.
65. Lunch with friends IRL.
66. Friends who lift you up in prayer whenever you need it.
67. My church and the support and prayer network, commitment to teaching the truth
68. Boys who play well together.
69. Helpful and servant hearts appearing in the boys.
70. Decorating cookies