Real Life Experience with Prayer
by Kim Arthur, Director of Communications
“This is not looking good.” Those were my actual thoughts.
I was spending longer than I wanted to quiet my fidgety children and pup as they insisted on moving around and even bickering about where they were going to sit to pray with me for today’s 24 Hours of Prayer. Thankfully, God is always listening, and I believe responded to my frustrated thoughts with a humorous reply: What’s new? The Bible is full of moments that started off not looking good, BUT God. He has a way of redeeming those hairy, frustrating, not-going-as-planned, even hopeless situations. So, I took several deep breaths and prayed, “Ok, God, I trust if I don’t loose my cool and give up any picture of a pristine, unbroken meditative time that you can bring something good, sweet and edifying from this chaotic attempt.
It took 10 minutes and three readings of the first passage from the Prayer Guide to finally capture everyone’s attention. But you know what? He came through in a big way–in a humbling way. I got to hear my kids confess that they had not been trying to work towards harmony with their siblings (their eyes got big as they read that passage from the guide). My kids got to hear their 70-year-old ESL grandma pray out loud several times. They even got to encourage her when she asked after the first time praying if she did “okay.” Their response, “Of course! You’re talking to God. You aren’t trying to impress Him or us” (something that I had just explained to another child a few minutes earlier).
I was encouraged to hear the wisdom of a child praying “God, please help people to not make their home in sin, but to find their home in You.” I was shocked because that was not on my mind as I asked for a volunteer to pray for our neighbors experiencing homelessness and anyone who feels needy, poor or oppressed. But he was right. We want help in all the ways for ourselves and others.
In the end, there were a few less-than-picture-perfect moments, but there were also plenty of teachable, edifying, convicting, and powerful moments that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. And you know what? My three kids were shocked by how fast the hour of reading God’s Word and praying went. I’m praying your time produced some immediate evidences of grace as well, but if not, remember that God’s Word does not return void and any time we spend planting in God’s field, planting our roots in streams of Living Water, fruit is bound to grow.
Want to still make a point to spend at least an hour with God today, another day this week or maybe even regularly this year? You’re welcome to still use our 2022 Prayer Guide. You can download it here.
Oh and Happy New Year! (Are you, too, confused about what day of the week it is when holidays come around?)