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I was sitting under a tree in Bolivia during the afternoon siesta, feeling refreshed by the gentle shade after working in the scorching heat all morning. The words were pouring out of my heart and into my journal and my body was buzzing with excitement.
I had literally seen miracles and I was overwhelmed with wonder. In my 15-year-old zeal, I knew I was going to be a missionary and live all-out for Jesus every single day of my life. I finally knew what it meant to live a life of reckless abandon!
That morning we had marched around an empty field with the missionaries as they cast their vision for a way to minister to orphans. Their vision was huge and expensive, and one that only God could bring to reality. We prayed with them, trusting God to do a huge thing. It never even entered my head that it wouldn’t happen as we prayed.
I thought life would always be like that. I didn’t understand then that those passionate feelings would one day fade along with my youth and that the only miracle I’d be praying for was to pee without an audience.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
God still does amazing things; He hasn’t changed one bit. He’s still the God who spoke the universe into being, who took dust and made a man, who made the sun stand still in the sky, who healed the sick and raised the dead.
And yet, I’ve reduced the miraculous to using the bathroom in peace. God, forgive me.
Even as a busy mom who has to get creative to find quiet time with Jesus, I can still see miracles. Perhaps I just forget to ask for them. After all, when we ask He answers (Matthew 7:8).
Time For Change
I used to hound heaven and intercede for miracles with unwavering faith. I used to pray each and every night with fervor, long into the wee hours of the morning because I loved time with my Jesus. I used to be younger and have less kids.
Quantity of time had to be replaced with quality because I simply didn’t have as much time at my disposal. I adopted a prayer system so that I could still pray effectively, if not profusely. And over time even that became less passionate and more desperate.
I found myself falling into bed at night when the kids were sick and instead of praying for God to heal them, I prayed for me not to lose it. When money was tight I didn’t always think to ask God to provide, but rather I lamented to Him about the situation and stopped there. I’d hear of a friend with cancer and ask God to comfort her, without stepping out in faith and asking Him to completely restore her health.
And then one day I decided that I was sick of the lukewarm prayer life I had fallen into. It was time for a change.
I began to read the Bible more intentionally and really focus on what Jesus was doing in the Gospels. Then I asked Him to do it today. If He healed people then, He could do it now. If He could multiply the paltry offering of fish and loaves, He could multiply the contents of my pantry until payday. If He could speak to the storm and calm it with words, then He could protect us from tornados.
Leaving Room on the Right
I began to pray for little things once again, things I used to bring before God in my youthful exuberance that I shied away from ‘burdening Him’ with in my staid adult state. How ridiculous I had become, to think that my Father would shake His head in annoyance when I brought my needs to Him.
I had obviously forgotten Who He was.
But now I remembered and my faith was being rejuvenated. I started writing down my prayers and expecting Him to answer them. It has been thrilling because He has!
The kids and I have been reading about the life of George Muller, a man of prayer and outrageous faith. Many things about his life touched our hearts, but the thing that made us all stop and consider was how faithful he was to keep a journal.
George would write every teensy tiny request he had down on the left-hand side of his journals, and leave the right blank. Why? Because he was leaving space to record the manner in which God answered each prayer. And he did so with utter confidence that God would.
And that’s what inspired this new adventure I’m embarking on. I’ve created my own little prayer journal in a traveler’s notebook and I’m only writing things down on the left so that I can also have room for a record of God’s faithfulness to answer.
I don’t know why I doubt sometimes. I’m so darn human, I get frustrated with myself. But I’ve seen Him do it, again and again.
Exactly15 years after I sat under that tree in Bolivia, on my 30th birthday, I sat in a church 1,100 miles from where I grew up and listened to a woman share the most amazing story. She had adopted her children from Bolivia and shared about a ministry that had been birthed in prayer and changed her kids’ lives.
Tears ran down my face as I realized that God had just given me the gift of not only knowing in my head that He answers prayer but getting to hear and meet one of those answers.
Would You Like To Join Me?
You might have had some miraculous experiences like I have. Or even like George Muller saw in his lifetime. Or you might not have. More than likely you’re at least familiar with the idea of prayer time, but you might be like me and wonder how to make it fit into your crazy, hectic life.
There are all kinds of awesome resources out there for prayer. It seems the movie War Room has inspired a generation, and I love it! In fact, one of my favorite bloggers on prayer has a great guide for prayers that turn your entire house into a war room and they’re fabulous.
But this is going to be a little different from other resources. I’m inviting you to join me on a 5-day deep dive into prayer that will show you what the Bible says about how to pray, helps you apply it, and sets you up to see God answer your prayers beautifully.
I’m inviting you to join me on this journey for the next five days and rekindle the flames of your faith that have settled into embers or to start a fire that you’ve never had before. To learn more and sign up, visit the Prayer Challenge sign up page.