Well it’s week 2 of the Summer Prayer Challenge. One thought that keeps reoccurring to me is that it’s one thing to say, “I’m gonna do this!” It’s completely another to follow through.
I’ve had a lot of hard moments and also some really good moments with God this past week. One such experience was when I was praying on my deck. I was really discouraged that day and I asked God if I was just trying to do something that he really didn’t want me to do. I asked him if there was any point in continuing this challenge. If people were annoyed of me. If friends and family were secretly rolling their eyes at my posts.
You know what he answered? Satan sure hates it when people begin to pray.
My eyes filled with tears, because I knew he was right! Often in life, the right path is filled with the darkest battles. God knew that I needed to start praying again, he also knows that I often feel self-conscious or judged by others. This challenge was his way of getting me to keep my eyes off of the likes on my blog, and on to him.
Getting “likes” doesn’t mean anything. I mean, I could post a before and after shot of myself from a few months ago and rave about how eating healthier and walking/jogging has helped my depression, about how much weight I’ve lost and you know what? I’d get tons of likes!
This challenge isn’t about popularity or gaining followers. It’s not about entertaining the masses with cleverly worded anecdotes. It’s about prayer, and God’s call right now on my life: It’s time to wake up and pray.
Beginning my prayer time with thanksgiving is key. Psalm 100:4 says: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.”
I don’t want to pray off a list. I want to enter His gates. That’s what captured my heart so deeply in David Wilkerson’s biography. My goal is to meet with Jesus instead of just rushing into a one-sided dialogue. A sure way to dry up your prayer time is to never actually enter into relationship with him. This is why I continue to encourage whoever is following the challenge to first set your eyes on Jesus before jumping into your prayer list.
Today ask yourself what Jesus means to you. Where would you be without his word, without his hand of provision, without the people he has put in your life? Spend time praising him for these things.
Do you sometimes doubt that there is a God? Ask yourself what causes your doubts. Then admire the complexity of the simplest things in the world around you:
A flower. When I study a simple flower, I am completely in awe of how much time and thought would be put into just one kind. And there are hundreds of thousands of them!! Our best art is all just a copy of His!
A bird soaring in the skies above.
The wind. It can be gentle enough to rustle the leaves in a tree or powerful enough to uproot it! Incredible!
Food! How we can eat it and TASTE it. How it brings satisfaction and energy to our bodies. How our digestive systems work to remove what we don’t need, and keep the vitamins and minerals we do need. AMAZING!
Think about how wonderfully he has made YOU.
How could these things happen by accident? Would it not take intelligence far above any human being to design such remarkable works?
Pray for experiences with God that will bring certainty in moments of doubt. Pray that God will bring to mind the miracles and experiences you’ve already seen from him. Thank him for these God-given moments which we can hold onto in our darkest times of trial.
Next pray for your family. This is something I’ve neglected in my life for WAY too long. If you, who love them more than anything, won’t pray for them, WHO WILL? Pray blessings over them, for help in specific problems, for breakthrough in area of struggle. Pray for them to have meaningful friendships, to grow in a desire for God, etc.
Lastly pray for all the summer bible camps taking place this summer: This month many children head off to a week or a couple weeks of bible camp. It is here that many testify to significant growth or even the beginning of their walk with God. However hard we try to set up a fun/meaningful week of camp, ultimately, we need God to move in the hearts of the campers!
-Pray for safety for the campers and staff.
-Pray for a strong sense of love/belonging for the children.
– Pray for God to soften hearts that are hard, to heal wounds that are deep. Some children come from such HARD places! It’s difficult to imagine that one week will make any difference in their lives. Pray that their experience with God and God’s people will become a firm foundation in their lives.
– For lasting experiences with the living God, powerful encounters that change the path of lives.
-For JOY to be found from within and not outward circumstances.
-For unity and character growth among the staff.
-Pray for lasting fruit!
Thanks again for praying with me! If you missed the initial challenge, visit my blog post: Summer Prayer Challenge .