This is [part of] My Story

Why I love Prayer
This week I’d like to start a series that’s a bit more personal in nature, at least in contrast to my usual “weekly word” posts.  I still think you’ll find it useful, hopefully even inspiring (which is why I’m sharing it).  I want to talk about something that has been a part of my life for a long time, something that is ever continuing to grow . . .  Prayer.

I would like to call it, “Why I Love Prayer”.  It could just as easily be entitled, “Why I’m committed to Prayer” or “Why I believe Prayer is Essential” . . . But, mostly it’s about my Love for this thing called “prayer” in all of it’s various forms: devotional prayer, listening prayer, but perhaps the main focus being Intercession (there are others, too).  I probably won’t spend much time defining the different “kinds”, but just the concept of prayer in general, and in that vein, why I enjoy giving vast amounts of my time and energy to it.

First, let’s answer the most basic of questions:  What is prayer?  Some would say it is “talking to God”, or even better “talking with God”, etc.  More specifically, I would contend that actually prayer is the way we work out relationship with God and walk out friendship with Him.  In light of that, is it possible to be a true Christ-follower without a life of prayer?

Don’t get me wrong, I think that most of us who call ourselves Christians believe in the idea of prayer.  We have some understanding of what it is and why it’s important.  But, when it comes to how we live our lives, day in and day out — eating, sleeping, driving, taking care of kids, business, appointments, paying the bills, and a little recreation here and there – where does prayer really happen?

But, I digress.  Let me share where my journey began.

Jesus came into my life when I was about 8 years old.  He really did come in, with peace and His Presence, which I have never doubted since.  I suppose I might not have been your “average” eight-year-old.  Once I met Jesus, I believed everything I heard about Him and everything I read in the Bible.  I believed and received.  I guess that’s what they call “faith like a child”.  I worshipped with the hymns (that’s all they knew at the church my grandma took me to) and cried many tears as I poured out my heart to Him and felt His Presence, even at that tender age.

One Sunday, the pastor was preaching about prayer.  Some Sundays, I just fell asleep on my grandma’s shoulder.  Other times, the Word would really touch my young heart.  This was one of those.  The gist of his message, which I have never forgotten, was “God blesses those who take time to pray”.  Seems simple, but, in my heart I said, “Yes!  I want to live a life that God blesses!”  That day, I made a committment to give God time in prayer every day.  I didn’t know how or what to pray, but every day I did.  And , I loved it!  Little did I know, that I was stepping into my destiny just by saying yes in the simplest way to the Holy Spirit.

Life changed many times over in the years that followed.  We moved away from my grandma (the one who took me to church, no one else in my family was a believer at that time), I came crashing into puberty, and had no one to lead me in God.  But, I talked to Him every day.  A few years later, we ended up in church again, the church split, I graduated high school, struggled with major depression and sin, found some victory, and entered the University.  And, I still prayed every day.

I dove into campus ministry and was recruited to lead prayer meetings (nobody liked leading the  prayer meetings, and only a few came).  I LOVED leading prayer!  Every time we met, I knew God was there.  I was hooked.  One day, in my personal prayer time, the Holy Spirit highlighted to me the Scripture in Isaiah 26:8-9:

8 Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws,
we wait for you;
your name and renown
are the desire of our hearts.
9 My soul yearns for you in the night;
in the morning my spirit longs for you.
When your judgments come upon the earth,
the people of the world learn righteousness.
And, I specifically heard the Lord say to my heart, “I’m calling you to be a watchman, one who stands and prays, one who intercedes and sees what is coming, and waits upon Me.”

Isaiah 62:6 I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
they will never be silent day or night.
You who call on the LORD,
give yourselves no rest,

7 and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem
and makes her the praise of the earth.

I knew at that time that this was a lifetime “call” to stand with the Lord in prayer.  It may not be the only thing I do (I feel called to other things as well), but it will be an essential part of my life, forever.  Again, I said yes.  Again, not knowing what it really meant.

Ten years later . .  Marriage, ministry, first child . . and here I am, still learning to pray.  But, I’m enjoying the journey, and have been learning a lot over the years.  And, I just want to tell you why I like it.  So, look forward to “Part 1” next week.  I’m gonna go pray.  Seriously. 🙂


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