Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Purposeful Prayer, Part 2

So how did it go? Were your prayers fervent and filled with vision this last week? I'm sorry to report that I could've done much much better. Sometimes life is very busy -- my middle son was fighting off pneumonia last week, my oldest son had swim practice everyday and a divisional meet on Saturday, and my mom and my in-laws both came for a visit. But is busyness really an excuse not to pray? Hardly, right? If anything, busyness is a reason to pray.

And I crave busyness -- it is just how I operate. I like having a lot going on and I cannot sit and watch TV without sinking quickly into a mildly depressive state. I abhor the idea of being a mere spectator, and I try to live life to the fullest everyday. The tragedies in my family (click here to read my story) were and are a reminder to live in the present, to embrace the blessings God has for me today. But even though I love it, my schedule (and I'm sure many of you feel the same way) can be stressful at times. Getting three boys out the door to do anything takes effort and concentration, getting them out the door multiple times a day clothed and ready to do whatever is next can be pretty taxing. After spending a few days helping me out, my sweet niece, Caitlin, once quipped, "I don't know how you do this without me!" Ahhh, but she's not yet a mother. One day she'll understand that God gives you this incredible maternal multitasking mental energy only when it is needed.

But we are all busy, so what does that have to do with purposeful prayer? Two things. First, we need to carve out time for more devotional, meditative prayer. I have heard people claim success with this at night, but for me this absolutely requires that I get up before the boys, and this is not easy for me. I love my bed and I love staying in it, but when I drag myself, however reluctantly, out of bed and read my Bible or devotional and spend time in prayer I am incredibly blessed by it. I am drawn to Psalm 119 which so beautifully depicts the blessing of devotion and the fulfillment found in meditating on God's Word.

In addition to a time of quiet devotion, we need to hem our busyness in prayer. It is through this supernatural conversation that God gives us His peace. And we so need His peace, especially when our lives are more frenzied than contemplative. Philippians 4: 6-7 is such a perfect verse to memorize on this topic. It says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, with 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."

This week may we know God's peace in our hearts and in our minds, may it transcend all understanding because we have come to Him in purposeful prayer both in our busyness and in our quiet moments.

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