“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people”
With it being Mother’s Day weekend, I’ve been thinking about one of my favorite “mom” songs, Sacred by Caedmon’s Call. That song says, “Teach me to run to you like they run to me for every little thing.” Yes, that’s true in my house. I button buttons and zip zippers, diffuse arguments and mediate disputes, kiss bumps and supply Band-Aids for nearly invisible scratches, refill juice cups and find lost toys, help with homework and hard-to-sound-out words. Even at this moment I am twisting open an Oreo cookie because my baby girl only likes the filling inside. I answer to “Mom” all day, every day. And, while at times I would like to sit still for more than 5 minutes at a time, I love that they turn to me for help. I suppose that at some point these little people in my care will feel too grown up to bring all their problems to me. Or maybe they’ll come to me, but their problems will be so big that my supply of Band-Aids and apple juice won’t fix them anymore.
Truly God must love when we turn to Him for help with all of the hopeful innocence that I see in my daughters’ eyes. We could struggle to solve our troubles in our own strength or we could offer them up to Him—both the life crises and the daily concerns—-giving them over to a God both big enough to handle them and compassionate enough to care about them. When we pray out our requests, when we turn to Him instead of relying on ourselves, we confess belief. We say, “God I believe that You are Lord over all things, that no situation is too much for Your strength and might or too small for Your boundless compassion. I believe that You have saved me and will continue to save me. I believe that You are Love.”
Years ago in a Bible Study group, one of the ladies said we should “run to the throne before we run to the phone.” What a challenge to us! Before we call on our friends and our own mommas with a problem, we should bring it to the God who can actually solve the problem we’re facing.
Another lady in that same group leaned over to me one week and said, “you’ll pray about anything, won’t you?” I took it as a compliment really because I surely do. If it crosses my mind, if it happens in my life, if I see it while I’m driving down the road or walking through Wal-Mart, I will pray about it.
And God tells us to do this. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” and Ephesians 6:18 says, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.“
We are to pray “in everything,” and “on all occasions.” I’ll drop to my knees over a health concern or a family in crisis and I’ll bow my head with my daughter when she loses a toy. It’s all just too much for me anyway.
That’s what some of the great prayer warriors in the Bible did. Men like Daniel and Nehemiah who took every circumstance they faced to God in prayer. King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream no one could interpret, Daniel and his friends plead “for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery” (Daniel 2:18). When the decree was signed saying no one could pray to any god by the king, Daniel “went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to God, just as he had done before” (Daniel 6:10).
Nehemiah prayed when he heard about the horrible state of the walls surrounding Jerusalem. When the king asked him what he wanted, Nehemiah “prayed to the God of heaven” before giving an answer. Enemies threatened the work of Nehemiah and his crew, “but we prayed to our God” (Nehemiah 4:9) and when the enemies tried to frighten the Israelite construction team into quitting, Nehemiah prayed to God, “now strengthen my hands” (Nehemiah 6:9).
They went to God with every annoyance, every difficult, every burden, every sadness, every disaster, every enemy, every worry.
Truthfully though, there are moments when I’m overwhelmed by the weight of the requests I’m carrying to the throne. I’ve been duped by impossible-appearing circumstances into thinking that it’s fruitless for me to pray any longer. That there is no hope. That the marriage is truly dead. That the housing situation will not be solved. That the cancer statistics are too certain. That the job market is too sparse. That I’ve prayed for so long with no answer, nothing could possibly change now.
I listened to a friend share this week about a request that we have carried to the throne together for so long and she admitted with all the honesty a person can muster, “I’m just tired of praying about it.” I knew exactly what she meant. Fighting and fighting to have faith for so long, to pray and pray with no evident answer, no release, no deliverance, it makes a body tired.
But we are to “always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” And God, who is so gracious and compassionate, knows the exact moment when we need to see a glimmer of His light in the dark places. We need the smallest reminder that He is active and alive where we only see death.
He did that for me this week. For days stretching into months I have prayed and prayed for women with problems no earthly “Mom” could handle. No one but God could be big enough. I’ve been running to the throne so often with these requests, I’ve worn a path from me to God’s feet. And then on Sunday I came home and told my husband I had personally seen with my eyes five ways that God had moved in these situations. Not full answers to prayer, perhaps. Not the complete deliverance yet. But, just enough for me to say, “I saw God. I saw Him! He is here in this situation. He’s heard the prayers I’ve cried out. He sees these women and all the hurts that are burying them. He has not abandoned them.”
I was excited. That’s what seeing God does really. It renews our passion and reminds us to persevere. Now that I have seen Him, I’m praying even harder for each of these situations and many others because I’ve been reminded that He hears me and that He’s at work on our behalf.
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2011 Heather King