This coming Thursday is the 65th National Day of Prayer in the United States. This annual observance was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress, and signed into law by President Truman. Now, on the first Thursday of May each year, our country has the opportunity to acknowledge our need for the Lord together. That’s pretty incredible- an entire day devoted to prayer!
As a little girl, my mornings started out with my mother reading to me from Scripture and praying while I had my breakfast. My mom is a prayer warrior- this means her prayers are…well, long. 🙂
Now, as a child, this seemed to not be the best use of time. There were things to do, toys to play with, books to read, the great outdoors to explore… anything but sitting there for what felt like hours talking to God about everything. Yet, there was something about my mom’s prayers (even though they were long, and I would get antsy) that deeply influenced my view of God. She seemed to really know Him, and nothing was off limits. She was aware of how completely she was known by God, so her vulnerability before Him was fruit of this awareness. The familiarity she had with the Lord mingled with her deep reverence for His holiness was a nuance I didn’t realize I was picking up on- but I was.
When it comes to spiritual disciplines, prayer is a beautifully unique act of intimacy and communion with God (Romans 8:26; Ps. 145:18-19; Jer. 33:3), and is concurrently an act of obedience and worship (Ps. 50:14-15; Matt. 6:9-13). Cognitively, we grasp its importance in our lives as church leaders, but without actually taking the time to pause in His presence, it remains simply something we know. Nothing takes the place of experience.
With prayer, we are given the opportunity to quite literally step into the presence of Almighty God.
Just a few weeks ago, we observed Good Friday and celebrated Easter. In the midst of this narrative we follow Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemane… hours from His betrayal and arrest. In these moments where His soul was sorrowful and overwhelmed, He fell before His Father. Not just once, but three times. I’ve found this passage so deeply moving for years now. Not out of pity for Jesus, but out of deep reverence for His response to what He knew was coming. His friends failed Him (they couldn’t stay awake to save their lives, apparently 🙂 ), and His betrayal was imminent. His response was to go to His Father’s presence.
Friends, I don’t know the state of your soul today. Perhaps you got to start your day off by still waters, and you’ve been refreshed by time in His presence already. Or, if you’re like me, you hit the ground running and you’re already a little too hurried. But our souls weren’t made for hurry. Our souls were made for His presence.
Find the space –even for a few minutes – to steal away into your Father’s presence. There you will find rest. There you will be renewed. There you will receive all you need for this day.
My mom’s modeling of a life that seeks God in prayer has impacted me more deeply than I expected. To this day, she is my biggest prayer warrior. Rarely a morning goes by that I don’t hear from her that she is praying for me.
So this morning, friends, I want to bless you the way my mom has so often blessed me. I am praying for YOU today. And here is what I’m asking God for on your behalf:
I want to thank you for this sister, for this brother, who is reading this right now. Thank you for who You have made them to be- their unique gifts and their passion to serve You as they lead kids and families to know more of Who You are.
Father, I ask for your protection over their hearts and minds today. Help them to only hear the truth of who You say the are- not lies. Help them to see You actively at work on their behalf- not discouragement over what hasn’t been done yet. Help them to taste and see that You are GOOD.
I ask for Your blessing on the work of their hands, and that Your Spirit would fill them – giving them energy, excitement, and a fresh perspective on what You have entrusted them with. I pray they would confidently move forward as beloved children of God.
They are Your’s, and You are a loving Father.
Thank you for this precious sister, brother of mine.