Sunday, April 23, 2006

Thoughts from the treadmill on Prayer

This is an interesting topic for our family. We never prayed together regularly until we started our adoption of Hope and Isaac in 2002.

It would be better to be able to tell you, that even when everything was going great, we were praying and leading our kids that way. But, we weren't.

Out of a total realization of our helplessness, our lack of control over the adoptions, our total need ... we began to pray. It is embarasssing to admit it, but prior to that our prayers with the girls were bedtime prayers, dinner prayers and an occasional prayer for someone else who had asked us to pray. But, to sit down (the four of us) and really spend time seeking God through prayer just did not happen the first few years that we were a family.

After Hope and Isaac were safely in our arms our regualr prayer times together dwindled a bit. Not long after that we felt convicted about our waning interest in family prayer time. We began to make a better effort to spend time together again, on a more regular basis.

Troy and I attended a Family Life marriage conference. We were both kind of tired and punchy and when you go to something like that with less than a totally open heart, well.... you are likely to miss out on some of the messages the Lord might have for you.

As the day went on and the conference was drawing to a close, we were thinking what a waste of time it had been; when they began to talk about the importance of prayer in a marriage. More than that, they urged us to consider making a comittment to pray every single night together with our spouse. We were listening. That was the message we needed to hear.We both felt that it was one thing we had missed out on for the first year or two of our marriage. We began praying together on a regular basis.

Some nights, I would be crabby and just not want to pray. Can you believe that about me? ;-) Some nights Troy would be exhausted and have little energy when it came time to pray. We stuck to it as best we could. Often when one was too tired or had a bad attitude, the other could pray and be faithful to our plan of making it a priority. The more it became a habit, the less I was crabby or resistant and the less Troy was too tired.

Prayer is an interesting thing. I have said it before, my simple thinking is ---- well, it is simple-- so there is nothing shocking here ... but prayer has served to be the single greatest thing that has happened to our marriage and our family.

It humbles us before our God. It unites our hearts. It calms our nerves. It puts the control back into the hands of the one who has it. It changes us. It allows us to see His will for us. Through it we find wisdom, guidance and inner peace.

Philippians 4:6 - "In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God"
Hebrews 4:16 - "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need"

1 Thessalonians 5:17 - "Pray without ceasing"
Colossians 4:2 - "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."
James 5:16 - "Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much."

Today, as I sat in church reading my Bible, (this is what I do at Lifeline's church since I cannot understand most of what is being said) and then again during my run, I realized that I am missing the boat in this area this weekend.

I am forgetting to give all these issues to God. I am remembering that He said there would be hard things, but I have been forgetting to keep giving the problems to Him. I am spending way too much time trying to come up with my soultions and not enough time asking Him to solve it all. Why I forget simple things, like praying about EVERYTHING, is beyond me. As a problem solver, it is easy to jump in and just start trying to fix it. That is not cool. I needed the reminder to give it to God today.

Praying for His answers for today's issues in YOUR life and in ours.