I woke up this morning really wanting to spend time with God! I wish I could say that this is the case every morning! But in reality, I wake up with thoughts of coffee, Jesus, (admittedly, usually in that order) and then the list of things that need my attention scroll through my mind.
Today, Jesus was my first thought. The best part is that everything else just backed off and all I could think about was getting to my quiet place as soon as possible. I couldn’t wait to just sit and talk with Him! I really do make an effort to have quiet time with God each day. However, quite often the quality and consistency of that time is determined by my attitude, the demands of the day, and the choices I make throughout it.
I was reminded of a pastor of one of the largest churches in China. He was answering a question about his prayer life. He talked about how he had made it a habit to have quiet time every morning. The busier his schedule was on a particular day, the longer he would spend in prayer. He had found that the more time he gave to God in the beginning of each day, the more he seemed to be able to accomplish that day!
I need to remember this more often!
So this morning, knowing that I have a ton of things to do, I decided to sit outside in my back yard, with my hot cup of heavenly java, and visit with Jesus. It was wonderful!
During that time I was reminded of when my kids were small and life was inundated with the demands of others. I may have had a life full of purpose, however having a chance to sit quietly in my backyard, listening to the birds and the Holy Spirit, was simply not possible! I started to pray by thanking Him for my life and then rambled on about all the things I was certain He wanted to hear.
Then all of a sudden, I stopped….I began to listen….and I began to pray differently. I prayed for my neighbor who has 3 small children and is battling cancer, for those in my family who don’t know Jesus, for those I know who are battling depression and difficult circumstances, God’s church, and more. I began to weep. Really weep! It was then….at that moment…I felt Him! Like a huge, warm hug…The Holy Spirit! I am certain, that the moment my heart changed, the moment I decided to set aside my personal needs or concerns and pray for those God brought to my mind….that is the moment He made His presence known!
I have no doubt that He had been there the whole time, listening to me as I prayed for myself and my family, and that He, even at this moment, is working on my behalf. However, something changed when my heart and my prayers shifted from being all me, to something….dare I say…bigger!?
All of this to say, every one of us has something that we need God to do in our lives! Whether it’s to heal, to provide, or to comfort. He is there, waiting to be your answer! He is Jehovah Rapha, our healer, Jehovah Jirah, our provider, Jehovah Shammah, he is there for you!
Every time I finish praying I feel a combination of strength and peace. When I pray in the morning, before I tackle the day, I’m given strength to withstand a difficult day or to help someone else who is having one. I’m given peace to handle the uncertainty or fear that sometimes creeps it’s way in.
Something awesome happens when we not only pray for ourselves and our own circumstances, but for each other! Prayer is more powerful than we truly know! We actually unleash heaven and God’s power when we pray! If we could see just a glimpse of what happens when we pray, we would seriously never stop!
I know that as the seasons of life change it’s easy to allow the quality and quantity of our prayers to change along with them. Whether you’re young or old, single or married, have children or don’t, I want to encourage you to keep praying! Especially for each other! Even if it’s while you’re cleaning the house, driving in your car, or sitting in your backyard with a cup of coffee, talk to Jesus! It will change your day! It will change you!