I’m going to be really honest…up until I met my husband’s late grandmother, I didn’t think that much about prayer. I said the blessing. I half-heartedly asked God for protection and safety when I began to drift off to sleep at night. If I was traveling somewhere or my family was traveling, I would pray hard for safety; and when things in my life were bad…like really bad, I would pray a whole lot.
Otherwise, when life seemed good, I barely had time to stop and talk to God.
Then I met his Mama Nell. I’ve talked about her before here on my site, but in the short time that I knew her, and even more so in her passing, just what a spiritual warrior looked like. Having had the chance to read her journal entries (which she was faithful in logging), she never missed a morning prayer time or bible reading. When I say “prayer time,” I don’t mean a quick God is great, God is good type thing. I mean intentional, direct, fervent prayer. And it showed. It was obvious in the way she lived her life. She loved so many and cared deeply for others. She was the example of how I would want to be remembered.
However, when she passed away? When her fervent, intentional prayer stopped? It was obvious and it was felt by so many.
My husband and I started having the roughest time of our married lives upon her passing. Our families went through some of the most intense heartache and struggle and frustration that it’s ever known. We faced the deepest temptations and hurt that we, as a couple and as a family have ever known. Those direct, thought out, wholehearted cries on our behalf were not there anymore. And that left a hole around us in which the enemy filter himself in.
While I was still praying for my family and my husband, it was not in any way the kind of prayer that his grandmother prayed over us. I was more or less still praying those same mundane prayers for protection and safety. Those kind of prayers in which I was more or less just wanting God to do the things that I wanted him to do. I wasn’t seeking to pray with any purpose. Or with any passion. Or with any intention. I was saying my prayer, and just assuming that God was going to work out the rest.
Just because our God knows the things on our heart, doesn’t mean we don’t need to present them to him in holy surrender.
He knows what is on our hearts. He’s placed us where we are and he knows where we are going. He also knows what we are encountering and what we are struggling with. He wants to help us. But we have to ask. All to often I think that we go into prayer with the idea of, ” I hope God hears me…” rather than the knowledge and faith that he does.
Believe me. I’m preaching to myself here.
There are things on my heart that just terrify me; even when I pray I do it with a sense of hesitation that he may not hear or may not listen. If I truly believed that God was listening to my prayers, I would approach Him with humble expectancy & gratitude for the answer to a prayer that I haven’t even prayed yet.
It’s time to start praying like we mean it. Like we believe it. Like we believe that not only can God save our souls, but that he can answer the prayers that are truly simple in the grandest scheme of things.
He wants to be our person…our go-to guy when life gets hard. The ball is in our court friends. He’s there. So how long will we keep him waiting?
Now that we have reached the end of our Fervent Study, the praying can’t stop. Too often, we read a book, love the message and swear it changed us….only to go back to living our lives exactly as we had before. Friends, we can’t do that with this message. We can’t sink back into the old habits…the habits of praying lackluster, half-hearted prayers. If anything, our prayers should grow stronger. They should become more intentional and more detailed as we start to discover who God is and learn how to pray.
It can’t stop here.
Learning how to pray…growing in prayer…becoming intentional in praying every. single. day. isn’t something you do for a few weeks (or days) while you do a study. It’s a practice. It’s difficult but it is so worth it.
What did you learn from this study? What habit are you looking to take away from what we’ve read?