Yesterday I set aside a day of prayer and fasting for some people I love who are going through a tough time. (I fasted from Facebook, not food, for those of you concerned about that!) I have been praying popcorn prayers for these people but I wanted to go deep with the Lord and seek His will. Sometimes when I do that, God gives me a specific prayer that strengthens my faith in His willingness to answer my prayers. I believe and trust so thoroughly in the sovereignty of God that I overlook the power of prayer, which is actually the power of faith. Jesus pretty clearly indicates it is belief that changes our circumstances, not just the act of prayer. But I know that prayer begets faith, so I desire to pray.
It seemed like a giant failure. I succeeded at fasting from Facebook, which resulted in getting more work done and provided ample opportunity to pray for the items on my list in between tasks. My plan was to take just a few seconds for each item. In addition, my computer was moving like a woolly mammoth (ancient and slow, right?), which gave me even more opportunities to talk with God.
But more often than not, I just stared blankly… even despondently at my list. My heart is broken for some of the continued prayer requests I get from Spain, our church family or other circumstances. But there were no deep moments yesterday. I felt like a failure.
But God, who is rich in mercy… He is so gracious. It was also no-TV Monday for Chris and I – the first in a while. We did our taxes, started reading for our class, shared a long dinner together, read a chapter of This Momentary Marriage and talked. We talked for hours, about (of all things!) predestination. The conversation was good, and it was so uplifting. At one point, going round in circles, I got up and got our Bible and began to look up the passages. We were already sort of overwhelmed by the topic but I wanted to persevere. The Word never comes back void! We both had lightbulb moments. And I got a sweet word of encouragement from my husband, who said he was so glad “you always go to the Bible.”
Through the series of events that took place yesterday – focused moments where I was investing in things that I know matter to God like my prayer life, my marriage and my relationship with Jesus – God showed me something. There is no excuse for neglecting the discipline of intercession, but if I am “moldable” then God will grow me in that discipline according to His timing. He showed me that my life is a prayer. An open heart and a spirit dependent on Him requires some pretty serious faith. And faith, after all, is what He desires.