Prayer is More than a Last Resort

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Originally, I had a very different post planned. I was hashing it out in my brain; pulling from what I learned at the women’s conference I attended last week (my excuse for not posting, BTW. If you want to look it up, check out pinkimpact.com Registration is open for 2016 and it’s going to be awesome.) I had so much that I learned and planned on sharing, but life (God) has a funny way of redirecting our attention when He wants to say something different. In this case, it’s taking the attention off of what I learned (me, me, me…) and focusing it on God and the fact that there are so many places that I can do nothing but pray.

A friend of mine had her third child this past weekend. However, his heart didn’t form correctly/completely and they were rushed to the hospital and have been running tests ever since. The heart defect is the most critical, but there are other issues that will have to be addressed as well. Thankfully, her mother is able to help with the two older children, but that is only one piece of the jigsaw puzzle that their life has become.

I can’t make it better. I’m bringing dinner, but that doesn’t solve the problem. I’ve offered encouragement as best as I can, but that doesn’t solve the problem. In a very real sense, I feel helpless to help them…but I can pray.

On the way home from my MOPS group this morning, I randomly took a different way back to my house. Less than a mile from my neighborhood, I came upon a really bad crash that had happened moments before I pulled up. Two trucks had collided, leaving the drivers injured and stuck inside the vehicles. The passenger in one of the trucks was able to get out by smashing a window and crawling through. I was there for about fifteen minutes, alongside other concerned drivers who stopped to help. We couldn’t get them out, or do much of anything. One woman did manage to reach the parents of one of the drivers (who is only eighteen and was on her way home from taking an AP test). Another got a hold of the other gentleman’s mother (that gentleman is only twenty-one).

For an hour, a handful of us who were blocked in by emergency vehicles at this point just stood off to the side, watching helplessly as the fire fighters and EMTs finally forced the passenger door open to get out the young woman, and had to cut the other man out of the car. Two were taken to the hospital by ambulance, the young man who had to be cut out of his truck was air-lifted.

Again, I couldn’t make it better. I don’t have medical know-how to offer any assistance. I called 911…and prayed.

Too often, we treat prayer as a last resort. In emergencies, we throw up a prayer like a white flag. “I’ve done all I can do, so now I’ll pray because I don’t know what else to do. I surrender.” But prayer is so much more.

Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always.  (1 Chronicles 16:11)

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. (Psalm 145:18)

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. (Romans 8:26)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

pray continually; (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

(emphasis mine)

Clearly, those are only a handful of the verses that give indication of the importance of prayer. It is our lifeline; our open invitation to communicate freely with the God of the universe, who is powerful enough to raise Jesus from the dead and gracious enough to ensure a way for our salvation.

picture from facebook.com/gatewaypeople (with permission)

picture from facebook.com/gatewaypeople (with permission)

Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer. It is a time to stop what we are doing and pray for our nation. To pray for those who work of the government, those who serve us in the military, and to truly thank God for allowing us to live in a country that offers a multitude of freedoms that can’t be found in other places of the world. Honestly, no, I do not particularly like our current government, but the Bible specifically instructs us to pray for our leaders, no matter if we agree with their policies or not (1 Timothy 1:1-2). But I am grateful that I can speak freely as a woman and as a Christian. I am grateful that I can raise my children to know the God I serve. There are a lot of “what ifs” about current policy, but I know that God is bigger than the governments of this world and I can trust Him, even if I can’t trust my leaders.

I want to urge you to join your community in prayer. Take a little time out of your day and petition God on behalf of your city, your state, and your nation. Pray for redemption and for God-fearing leaders to step up into places of influence. Pray and then pray some more. If you are in the DFW area, the image above is an option of where you can go to pray with others in your community.

But more than just this one day, I urge you to pray continually like scripture tells us. Be in constant communication with God, about every aspect of your life. You may be surprised by the influence it has on your spirit and even your every day life.

 

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