Friday, May 6, 2011

National Day of Prayer - Time for Reflection

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

For those of you who are regular visitors to my blog, it should come as no surprise that I fully support and applaud our country's National Day of Prayer. It is an invitation to persons of all faiths to join together as a people, united in spite of political or economic differences, and acknowledge with humility and thanksgiving our blessings as one nation under God. On this year' s National Day of Prayer, I felt called to reflect upon the how, why, when, where, and what (people and needs) of my daily prayer life. As I share with you where I am on my prayer journey at this time, I hope you will, in turn, share your prayer experiences in the comments' section for others to read and be enlightened on their way.

How: This varies greatly. Sometimes it's as simple as having a conversation with God; other times, I am comforted by the poetic formality of liturgical prayers uttered reverently throughout the generations. I find "arrow prayers", brief words of thankfulness and praise shot straight to God, to be both heartening and reassuring throughout my day because I know He is listening.

Why: He is listening even when I don't hear an answer. He is not, to quote Billy Graham, my "celestial bellhop". My time is in God's hands, and His time is beyond my comprehension. Prayer connects me with eternity as nothing else can. As C. S. Lewis aptly stated, "Prayer doesn't change God, it changes me". My relationship with Him, my spiritual growth, is entirely dependent upon my knocking upon His door with my prayers and petitions, expecting that, even if I discover the door closed, He has an open window in the offing in His time and place.

When: In Thessalonians 5:17, Paul exhorts us to "pray continuously". What? How am I supposed to do that? This was, for a long time, a stumbling in my prayer life until I realized, oh, happy day, that my every breath depends upon God's will for my life and is a quiet, continual assurance of His presence. This knowledge has granted me such peace and has made praying for others a time of celebration.

Where: Everywhere! There is no limit to our time or place for our prayers. We can be at church, driving to work, dusting the furniture, checking our e-mail, hugging a child, comforting a friend, drifting off to sleep; the list goes on and on and I'd love to see what you could add to it! As Steven Curtis Chapman sings, "Everywhere and every way, every moment of the day, it is the right time". There is always a right time and place, never a wrong one. He is waiting to hear our concerns, our thanks, our heartaches, and our praises lifted to Him.

What (people and needs): Are we being generous or selfish when we pray? It is so easy for me to pray for friends and family, but praying for my enemies, that's a whole other story. I know my Lord has commanded this and is aware of my struggle to follow with purity of heart. I need His help to pray for those who are hateful and hurtful, realizing that these are the very people in dire need of His salvation. What are the things you should be praying for, but are not, and the things you shouldn't be praying for, but are?

In the end, I will be anxious for nothing, remembering that I'm standing my tallest when I am on my knees.

2 comments:

  1. God is God. May we humble ourselves and take our places on our faces.

    ReplyDelete

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