Thursday, September 29, 2016

For the Days When You Know You Need to Pray.......But It's Hard To Do

It's something all of us *know* we are supposed to do.
I think many of us want to pray.
I'm guessing that for most of us, we try to do it, too.

I know that personally I've tried many times to start a prayer journal.
I've set up prayer schedules, and prayer lists, and prayer times.
I've visited prayer closets, and signed up for prayer vigils.
I've read books on prayer, and I've read different bloggers thoughts on how to start praying.
I've learned acrostics to pray more intelligently.

But for me, all of those attempts were lacking on thing.....
actually praying.
Being raised by godly parents, having many godly mentors, and being raised in a good church, I've heard about others having prayers answered.
I've seen it in my family growing up.
I've even had prayers answered myself.

I still wouldn't say that I had a consistent, real prayer life, though.

Several years ago, we started a family devotional time.
We would read a little bit of Scripture, and then John would pray for our day.
Then one day John mentioned that we really needed to pray about our upcoming rent and some things with our landlady.
Since I have an awful memory, I asked if I could write it on a card.
I could pull it out at breakfast, and then I would remember to remind him to pray for the situation.

Over time we began to slowly add cards.
We didn't plan it all out specifically, it just kind of happened.
I found an old basket, pulled out our stash of 3x5 cards, and slowly our prayer basket grew.
We added our missionary prayer cards.
After Christmas I added all the family pictures we'd been sent.
One day John thought we should add our supporting churches.
I added a stack for the missionaries we know and pray for here in Ghana.
It gave us a chance to bring our family's needs and things we felt should be prayed for before the Lord, together, as a family.

And then one day, something unbelievable happened!
That very first prayer card, the one about our rent and our landlady got answered.
Out of the blue!
It was a matter we thought would have to be dealt with when the rent came due, after lengthy discussions with our landlady and her lawyer.
Instead, God prompted her to send us a letter, months before our rent was to be paid {we pay two years at a go, here!}, with all our concerns already answered......and we hadn't asked her any of the questions yet.

You would think that I would grasp the power of God's working in this situation, but as excited as I was, I didn't really dwell on the fact that God was answering these simple prayers we were praying every morning at breakfast.

Since that day several years ago, our family has seen God answer numerous prayers, both big and small.
Sadly, since I'm made of forgetful flesh, I've doubted God's guidance recently.

We have a lot of things we are praying about right now.
BIG things.
Things that need answers.

I've been tempted to worry.
I don't exactly need the answers right now, but it sure would be nice.
Every morning when we pull out the cards, the Lord reminds me that He has it under control.

And then last week rolled around.
We got an unexpected email, which led to a skype call.
This was followed by another phone call from a friend far away.
And suddenly, God has answered prayer after prayer after prayer.
After silence for so long, He simply opened the heavens and dropped the answered prayers right into our waiting hands.....
right on time, if not a bit early!

I share this with you today not to boast about how well I pray,
or what a spiritual person I am,
or to garner applause,
or gather praise.
I write this so that if there is someone reading who has a burdened heart,
who wonders if God is listening at all,
or struggles with the discipline it takes to pray,
that maybe this will encourage that one to
write it down
and pray that prayer
and wait patiently to see God answer.


  1. Such an inspiring post and beautiful photos. :)

  2. I love reading your posts Patty. We are learning more and more about prayer and taking everything to Him. Thanks for sharing.