All We Can Do Now Is Pray
Kneeling at my bedside, pressing palms together, I followed Mom’s lead to pray. “God bless your father, your brothers and sister,” she would say, and I repeat.
Greatness is found on our knees.
Like nothing else I ever did as a kid, stopping and speaking to God sounded like an opportunity—the chance of a lifetime. After all the activity of the day God was actively listening.
Getting under the sheets after praying turned the lights of stillness on. Where busyness ceased and holiness covered us.
I lay there wondering what my prayers would produce. How will I see my prayers in action?
Soon, lessons were over and kneeling next to my bed, blessing the family, was something to pursue on my own.
Forgetting to kneel, I’d pray on my pillow. Tired and weary, I’d try again tomorrow. A waste of time, I told myself, why pray for something I never see?
Excitement to pray fizzled away.
Seventeen and pregnant, I prayed her healthy arrival. Once she was in my arms there was never enough time in the day. It wasn’t until bills piled up and phone shut off I thought to give God a shout. Mistaking, Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, as a mere ambulance in dire circumstance.
From the oldest saint to the littlest lamb the battle rumbles in our hearts to pray. Our heart says yes, but our mind says go. Go make the call, check the mail, walk the dog. There’ll be time later, after dinner, before bed. Ten years downstream when the womb is barren, illness takes over, or the company collapses we throw in the towel, and pray. Prayer becomes more like giving up than taking charge. What is supposed to give us courage gets taken for granted.
Prayer is meant to thrive on the tips of our tongues, not the bottom of our list.
Prayer is hard for everyone. No one prays without wrestling for it. It’s a knock down drag out fight to pray—don’t let anyone tell you any different.
The apostle Paul begs, “strive together with me in prayer…” When Jesus was praying blood to the ground his best friends couldn’t pray with him one hour, sleeping off their sorrow, because prayer is a battle—we do battle with. When people prayed wombs were filled, nations were saved, enemies were conquered, lions were tamed, people were brought up from the pit—ruthless kings down to their knees. Impossible obstacles become future generations hope when we strive together in prayer.
Praying is not all we can do, it’s how everything worth doing gets done.
Actions speak louder than words when our actions involve the asking of His good and perfect will.
It’s been dry here. The fields are reaching for water, leaves are curling from the heat.
The sky turned dark this morning. I could hear the rumbling miles away, bolts of lightening snapped earth to its feet. Rain came down in buckets and the land went limp with relief. Our prayers are called for like rain. All of us together watering the parched, the wilting, the scorched. A sweet-smelling aroma rising to the heavens on behalf of the helpless standing in unemployment lines, at the border lines, on donor lists, in safe houses, and behind steel bars. All the faces we’ve never seen except on a screen. All the people we’ve never met except through print. The hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the prisoner…“Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to Me.”
Let’s go, give, speak the truth in love, but may we never cease to pray. Underestimating our prayers before the throne is overestimating the strength in our legs.
Welcomed by Tracy DeGraaf, five of us juggle our lives weekly reinforcing a bridge of prayer. It was something I was eager to try—it’s now a mission I hate to miss. Four warrior hearts adoring, confessing, thanking, and supplicating in tandem with mine. Prayer is powering us together like showers of rain. There’s no telling how the harvest will come—blessed are we who believe and have yet to see.
When our prayers come like rain the whole earth bows in praise.