A month or so ago, Joy and I went over to Aiken, SC to hear our friend, Travis, share about a recent trip he had taken.
As we stood singing in worship, I prayed for him … knowing he might be at least a tinge nervous about speaking. When speaking to a large group, microphone trouble, losing focus, argumentative powerpoint slides and being unable to connect with your audience are just a few of the glitches that can occur. Because God brings Travis to mind often, I stuck a little note into his Bible. I didn’t want him to open his Bible while speaking, find the note and be distracted so, I wrote it small so that the paper would be easy to hide deep inside his Bible.
This morning, I was thinking about him and praying. I know he’s out-of-town visiting friends. He’ll probably speak while he’s there. And I’m betting he is bathed in beautiful weather because he’s in Florida. I sent him a quick text to say I was thinking of him and praying for him. Within a few minutes, he sent me this text…
That was such a confirmation for me.
See … there was this time when I beat myself up
because I’m not one of those Mighty Prayer Warriors
that I have heard speak from the pulpit, on television or on some youtube video.
I admire people who ARE Prayer Warriors
who keep journals, write down answers, spend thirty minutes or more a day on their knees
and always remember what they have prayed for others.
I …. don’t keep a prayer journal at all.
So, I don’t have a record to go back and write down HOW God answered all my prayers
or WHEN He answered them.
And I don’t have …. or I guess, I don’t dedicate 30 minutes a day to sit and pray the “right” way ….
with one of those wonderful acrostics like “ACTS.”
Have you heard of it?
When you pray, you are reminded to pray to specifically cover these topics:
A: Adoration (Worship)
C: Confession (Of Specific Sins)
T: Thanksgiving (Gratitude)
S: Supplication (Specific Requests)
I think this is ingenious and helpful and very Biblical …
but I …. just …. don’t do it this way.
And … if that disappoints you, stick around.
There are plenty of other ways that I can disappoint! LOL
In fact, I could give you a list of people who could give you excellent examples of my failures!!!
but …. I digress …..
Knowing that I am not much of a Prayer Warrior,
I call myself a Prayer Archer.
What I AM good at
is praying off and on all day …
sometimes in song, sometimes out loud, sometimes to myself, sometimes with a whisper,
and sometimes in what I would call conversation because I’m really, truly listening for a specific answer from God.
So, as God brings someone to mind, I pray for them.
Often, the prayer is about something specific so there is a “target” involved in the prayer.
The target could be about anything from finding a lost book that I know is missing,
to the healing of an emotional wound like bitterness/anger or
that God would just be ever-so-evidently present in that person’s life that day or at that moment.
Since there is a “target,” I am an “archer.”
So, I write this morning to say
I am pretty confident that God is much less concerned with rules about HOW and WHEN you pray
yet very concerned THAT you pray.
Find a way that works for you.
We are all different. And every relationship in our life is different from any other.
Don’t box yourself into a preconceived notion that
you HAVE to pray before breakfast
or you HAVE to spent thirty minutes a day in prayer.
Let the idea of praying “right” (whatever that looks like in your head) be your goal,
but don’t let it be your law
that heaps on guilt
and causes you to avoid Him
when you don’t do it “right.”
He extends us great grace and deep mercy. Accept it and fellowship.
Like any loving, gracious Father,
He longs to spend time with you …
He so deeply desires an open communication with you.
May we each develop a prayer conversation style that is all your own …
and practice it.
:: peace ::