by Sarah Langness
I’m grateful for prayer. I’m grateful that we have a God who answers prayer. And I’m grateful that no request is too small in His eyes, no concern of ours is too insignificant for Him. As I drove home from Sioux Falls on Friday, I felt the prayers of family and friends being offered on our behalf. My can’t-sit-still-for-more-than-thirty-seconds boy napped for nearly three hours straight (the longest nap he’s taken probably since he was a newborn); he played well, let animal crackers keep him happy, and all together did great on the seven-hour car ride. Definite answers to prayer. The roads were only wet, not slippery; and we had safe travels the entire 507 miles. Definite answers to prayer. In moments like those, when I see, experience and feel the power of prayer, I wonder: why don’t I pray more?
And not just pray because it’s nice or it makes me feel connected to God or to tell Him about how that lady at the grocery store made me feel. I mean pray. Pray for our nation. Pray for the lost souls surrounding us. Pray for our courts. Pray for the devil’s hold on hearts to loosen and for the world to turn to Jesus.
I’ve realized in the last couple of days how little praying I do. Oh sure, I pray for our families, those dear to my heart and the troubles facing them. But why don’t I pray bigger? With a more far-reaching, worldwide impact? Don’t get me wrong: those prayers for my parents, brother, in-laws and close friends — those are important. But far too often I simply stop there. Why do I fail to mention our nations leaders, abortion doctors and clinics, our church leadership, the souls of the lost, Bible translators, the hungry, the orphans, airline pilots?
Pride, perhaps. But I think what it really boils down to is discipline. Not just recognizing all there is to pray about (and yes, it’s quite daunting), but actually praying. Carving out time in my day to pray. Praying while I do everyday, mundane tasks. Not allowing my mind to wander and daydreams to enter. Being still before Him.
“‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him to knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!'” – Matthew 7:7-11
If you’re like me and disgusted at the atrocities all around us these days, let’s pray.
If you’re like me and dismayed at the acceptance of blatant sin even by believers, let’s pray.
If you’re like me and shocked at the bombing in Boston, let’s pray.
“. . .pray without ceasing . . .” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17