Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 24: The All Day Pray

"I'm living by will--tapping the well--claiming the miracle--asking for help..." (Ryanhood, STOPLESS)

Nice job not giving up, everybody! And kudos to Abby for sharing the cool ways God is answering her prayers--I'm so encouraged! These sort of "praise reports" are, in my experience, vital to sustaining a life of prayer. They help us focus on what God is doing, rather than on what he He hasn't yet done.

So here's another: Steve's parents are coming out to visit us this week. We're excited, both because they're cool and because it's our first time hosting guests in our new place. Weeks ago, we went out one Saturday to buy a futon to put down in the basement for us to sleep on while they're here, thinking it would be $200-250. It was almost TRIPLE that price (when did futons become fine furniture???), which sent us staggering out of the store. We gave up, not knowing what else to do, and were a little discouraged by the prospect of long cold nights on our leaky air mattress. Then, like one of those "Duh! I could have had a V-8!" moments, it occurred to me: I could pray. "God," I asked, "could you bring us a futon for $100?" Because truthfully, that was all I wanted to spend. I felt ridiculous praying for cheap bedding, but I had nothing to lose. In the days that followed, we scouted Craig's List, we asked around: nothing. Then our friend Moses said, "I know someone with a futon they might sell...for $100." Yay God :)

This prompted me to say to Steve last night (for approximately the 9,000th time) "Wow, we should ask God when we need things--even little things. I think He likes to answer." (Yes, these are the sorts of deep theological conversations we have at our house.) I don't think God is a vending machine. But I do think He's a good father. He likes to be included in our lives, and He knows that our lives are filled with needs and wants and hopes, both big and small.

Today, I'm going to practice asking God for everything and anything--parking spaces, writing help, a good hair day, protection for the cute bunny hopping around in our yard (I'm a little worried about the passing turkey vultures...) Again, not to try to manipulate Him, or to get stuff, but to include Him in my thoughts in a more all-inclusive way. In the past, I've fallen into the trap of thinking that to "Practice the Presence of God" I had to banish my practical, mundane thoughts. Now I wonder if it's just the opposite, if that's where God wants most to be invited? The Apostle Paul talked about how we're to take every thought captive to Christ...I don't think he meant just the holy & pious ones. For me, a major "stronghold" is the lie that I have to figure things out on my own, or make them work myself. Historically, that hasn't worked so well.

Today's All Day Pray doesn't tie in directly to today's chapter from Luke, except for this: Jesus, right before his betrayal, warns his disciples repeatedly, "Pray that you will not be tempted." This is wise advice for us. Let's apply it.

And chime in to let us know how it goes for you, inviting God into every thought!


Myowne said...

This morning when I got out of bed, I spent a little time praying before I faced another day of uncertainty. My prayer was "Lord, help me to take care of my family." Although I am praying for a husband, I have been shifted into a position of caring for my family on my own and I need God to help me (and in fact care for my family using my hands and presence). I am gaining custody of my 16-year-old neice and her two little sisters in two months and although I pleaded with God to release them from the foster home they were in, I secretly was hoping that God would send my husband conveniently about the same time. That hasn't happened yet (obviously) but today when I got up refusing to be overwhelmed by all the things that come when you are trying to take care of others, I decided that I should trust God to be my Husband and the Provider for my family. I prayed that this morning and have decided to keep praying it all day every day.

Sarakastic said...

Everyone's stories are so inspiring. I can't wait to try praying over the little things. Usually I just hold out for the really big stuff but that seems incredibly silly now that I think about it.

kim said...

Myowne, your post is so beautiful!

Stella said...

Dear Myowne:

I was so touched by your post ... I believe the Lord will bless you for your faithfulness and committment to your family.


Breeza said...

This post is great because I just started doing this the other day. And it's amazing how God works. I don't pray for every little single thing like parking spots, but I had to do some bank stuff and I prayed before all of that and it all went so smooth. I think He likes it when we rely on him for just little daily things as much as we rely on him for the big things, like husbands!

Stella said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who forgets to check in with God for the small things ... It's comforting to know that includes a GOOD HAIR DAY!!! I've got that fine stringy blond stuff that needs DIVINE intervention on some days--GRIN.

I too get stuck in thinking I have to figure it all out myself. I bought a bracelet to wear that says "Trust in the Lord" on it to remind myself to check-in with Him throughout the day. Unfortunately, its become another piece of jewelry that I'm just vaguely aware of on my wrist. Guess that was the EASY way out and I need to actually do the mental exercise to get my "remember to check-in with Jesus" muscle to work consistently.

TRISH: Congrats on the new futon--awesome!!! Hope you have a great time with the inlaws too!!!


Abby Green said...

Thanks for your sharing Myowne!
I'm in to put God in the forefront of my thoughts...and to pray for every little thing!

Rachaelita said...

Myowne, thanks so much for sharing this. It really helped me when looking at my mother and the care that she needs, and was a reminder to keep trusting God as my Provider, Husband.

Thanks Trish-- I loved the post about letting God into the mundane. Have to admit I still feel a little resistant to this..guilty, like a kid that keeps asking for candy. But I am going to practice doing this more.., and practice trusting that God wants to be a good father to me!

Anonymous said...

The all day prayer makes sense. We can't even wake up to a new day w/out God so if we can't start the day w/out Him, nor end it w/out Him for that matter, then He has to want the "everything in between" as well. The scripture that says, "He never leaves us or forsakes us," means He is by our side always and I'm sure He would rather be an active participant as He walks by our side as opposed to a silent one.

This is something God was working on with me. Due to my slight control issues (yeah right) I had a tendency before to just include Him in on certain areas, but took on the rest myself. I had started to get the Lord more involved in the day to day things, but started to slack off. This was my reminder to get back on track.

I started today at work asking God to help me through an important business meeting (to give me the right words, show me favor w/everyone in attendance, etc.). The meeting went smoothly and it reminded me that the Lord wants involved in everything I do - even work especially since He is the one who gave me the job.:)

Thanks for sharing Myowne! You're in prayers.

heiress said...

Yesterday, was the hardest day in the fast for me, and it took everything in me to say "I'm not giving up" because everything in me said just Quit. But I didn't and even though I stayed up most of the night just feeling so discouraged and defeated surprisingly joy did come in the morning when I read about what God was doing in the rest of your lives which somehow gave me the encouragement I needed to continue on and keep praying. Then ironically today was titled "The All Day Pray" that was definitely and answer to my negative thoughts of defeat.

I feel the need to share as well so here it goes:

I believe that God did an awesome thing in my life four years ago when he showed me my future husband. I had never experienced anything like it before. At the time I was recently a single mother and I had planned on just staying single and raising my daughter by myself. When my mother asked me if I wanted to go to see a play for my birthday, I said fine and looked on Ticketmaster 2 days before the show and got front row tickets. To make a long story short the play ended up being my life exactly, only difference was that the character who played me was a male (my future husband). At the end of the play God blessed him with the right companion. When I went home that evening it was the beginning of my change process. I couldn't shake the feeling that God wanted me to go to see that play because he wanted me to see that I could move on and that He could still send me my husband. I believe that God placed it in my heart that the guy in the play is my future husband. I sat at my computer that night and I prayed "Lord, I believe that you placed it in my heart that this man is my husband, and if so give me that words to say, but if I'm wrong please don't let him respond at all." Jesus, gave me the words to say and I typed a short email to him, and he responded. From that point on this story is filled with some miraculous events which only God could do. This year has been the most significant, and I believe that God spoke to me and told me that my wait is over. But there are those days when the enemy steps in and tries to defeat me with my own thoughts of "You should just give up" "You've been praying all this time why hasn't your God answered you by now" and "Your never going to get married." But I know that God placed this desire in my heart four years ago and somehow everyday I find the courage to continue on and keep believing and keep praying because I know my answer is closer than I think.

This is actually a really long story and I've kept a journal of all the little and big details that I hope to write a book from one day (I have no idea how because I am NOT a writer) when I get to the chapter where the two of us live happily ever after.

heiress said...

Myowne, I know that God will give you the strength to be the mother he wants you to be, and he will do His part and send you the husband that he has for you.

Abby, I was so encouraged to read how God has worked in your life it truly blessed me and gave me the motivation to keep on praying.

kim said...

heiress, i so know that place of feeling like God is encouraging you and then the enemy tries to take it away. sounds like you are doing great -- keep listening to that voice of encouragement and God speaking to you through the play that night.

Anonymous said...

Heiress, thank you for sharing your story. I am in a similiar situation and needed that encouragement as God has been showing me that a guy that came into my life a year ago is the one and my wait is over but the enemy has been trying to take it away and convince me otherwise. I needed to hear your words of encouragement. Thanks!

Myowne said...

I really appreciate the opportunity to be a part of our little community of prayer travelers and in some instances, prayer warriors. Thank you Trish for a place where we can come and be ourselves and know others are praying for us and we can pray for them. Because prayer is so much about listening and paying attention to the voice of God and to the hearts and needs of others, I appreciate the words of encouragement from all of you that are part of this: Kim, Stella, Abby, Rachaelita, lak0838, and heiress. Thank you for your prayers and of course, you are all a part of my everyday conversations with God as a result of this.