Prayer prompt for Friday, Jan. 1

Have you used your “direct access line” with God today through prayer? What are some things on your mind that you need to talk to him about?

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How long, O Lord? (Prayer Devotional for the week of September 6, 2015)

As I was getting close to finishing grad school, I remember the idea of writing my dissertation being very daunting. How do you just sit down and write 100+ pages? One of the best pieces of advice that I received during that time was: You don’t. You write a chapter, or a section of a chapter, or sometimes just a paragraph. You divvy up the project into bite-sized chunks to make it more manageable.

 

Sometimes, though, I would write and write and write, then look at my page count and realize it had barely budged. I would strum my fingers on the keyboard and ask myself, “How much longer will this take? How will I ever finish? I have so many people rooting for me; what if I fail?” Looking back in hindsight, of course, I’d like to tell that worrywart that she’s going to rock her dissertation; she’s going to graduate on schedule; and, she’ll even get a job offer of her dreams before it’s all said & done. 🙂

 

We’re only human, and it can be difficult to look beyond our current challenges and see the big picture in the future. If it makes us feel any better, we aren’t alone in our fretting. At least eight times in the book of Psalms (depending on the translation), the writer cried out, “How long?” to the Lord. King David would often beg God through poetry and song to spare his life when he was being pursued by his enemies, or forgive him when he felt God’s wrath hot on his neck for his sins. As I read the Psalms, I picture David cowering in a secret cave, scribbling his prayers by a campfire.

 

Do you realize that the same God who answered David’s prayers also listens to ours?

 

Is there something you are dealing with right now that you keep wondering how long until it is resolved? Don’t hesitate to take your concerns to the Lord, but don’t just dump them in prayer and then walk away. Spend time quietly listening for God to impress upon your heart what he might want you doing while you wait for the answer. Perhaps you are in a challenging situation at work, home, school, etc., and he wants to use you to be a witness to a specific person. Maybe your trial is a test of character, not a punishment. Whatever the situation, trust God to handle the details; you just be willing to listen and serve.

Don’t Forget to Wave (Prayer Devotional for the week of September 14, 2014)

I walk my younger kids to the bus stop each morning, and I stand across the street a couple of houses away – far enough to give them some space but close enough that they know I’m watching in case they get any foolhardy ideas and forget how to behave. I start walking back to the house when the bus approaches their stop, and then I turn and wave as the bus drives past me.

We did this routine every morning for the first several days of school, and then one morning, one of the boys hollered to me as the bus drove up: “Mom! Don’t forget to wave!” Until that moment, I didn’t know if they even noticed that I had been waving to them. It was just something I did without really thinking about it, but it turned out to be something special.

It makes me wonder what else I do in my day-to-day life that seems mundane, “meh,” or just not noteworthy, but the people around me DO notice. The student worker at the front desk to my office notices whether or not I walk in with a smile on my face. The cafeteria worker notices when I say thank you for serving my plate. The person walking behind me notices when I hold the door open to let them into the building.

In Proverbs 18, the author spends the first nine verses talking about selfish people, the fools, the wicked, the guilty, etc. and then verse 10 takes a sharp turn and reminds us: “The Lord’s name is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and find refuge” (CEB). We have a chance everyday to be different from the foolhardy world around us. We can embody that safe place where people find hope.

I don’t want them to notice just some random polite lady, but I want them to notice Christ. I want them to notice that in the moment that our lives intersected, they mattered to me. We have such little time to make an impact in someone’s life. I don’t mean that to sound like a downer, but it’s true. Those people we pass on the sidewalk, the ones we see at work, or in class, or in church – we may not have another opportunity to be Jesus to them. The same is true in our families: One day, I won’t have any kids who still need to be walked to the bus stop. One day, they may not even want me to wave because it’s embarrassing in front of their friends.

I feel heavy-hearted with the weight of today. What have I done that mattered for eternity today? Because we aren’t promised tomorrow.