10 September 2008

The Year of Living Thankfully & Thoughts on Prayer

Just in case any of my bloggy friends were wondering if I abandoned The Year of Living Thankfully (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4), I didn't. I just felt the need to keep my thankful list private. Who needs to hear me thank the Lord for the little things like a successful potty training day with the babies, or park day, or that no one got into too much trouble during our library trip? Who needs to know that I'm thankful for A+s, family devotionals, and a good night's sleep? I can't imagine that anyone needs to hear how grateful I am for the respite I find in a good book, a phonecall from a friend, or that people I love who are in the middle of a painful divorce are finally talking to each other. All these things are a big deal to me, but to share them with the blogosphere felt stupid. But, I am still keeping my daily list of the blessings big and small from the Lord for which I'm grateful... I'm just not publishing it. It's good to know that I draw the line somewhere, right?

Anyway, along with thankfulness, the other major thing that the Lord has been impressing upon me this year is prayer. You know how the Lord puts something on your heart, or you're just thinking about something and you see it everywhere? It's that kind of "impressing". It's practically harassment!

I think that sometimes I'm so dense that God thinks about shouting audibly,


Why, as a Christian, is it so hard to remember to pray? When something is going awry do I think of praying right away? Nope. At least not every time, even though I should. When I have a problem, asking Jesus for help or comfort should come to mind immediately, and yet it doesn't. After hours or days (or longer) of suffering or worrying myself sick, I feel like smacking myself in the head when it finally does dawn on me to do the obvious... PRAY! So, for that reason I'm glad that God is hounding me to talk to Him, to hold a running conversation with Him, to get right up close to His ear.

Recently my grandmother, Anne Ortlund, spoke at church on prayer. What an eloquent and exhorting message! She reminded me to pray for everything that's on my heart, not just the wimpy requests, the easy things, but stuff that requires actual God-intervention. That's right... ask for real-live, documentable, scientifically provable, mind-blowing answers to prayer.

After that, my brother Buddy asked for prayer for Lincoln, our nephew who has Down’s Syndrome. He challenged me and others to remember that the Lord raises the dead, so what is Down’s compared to His omnipotence? At first, when I read that request, I’m ashamed to confess that I thought, “Come on, Buddy, let’s be realistic.”

How faithless of me! I realized that I was denying that God is capable of such a miracle, and that He desires for His children to make our requests known... all of our requests! That recognition shook me.

Do I believe in miracles? Yes, I do! Do I believe that Jesus is still in the miracle business today, and not just in Biblical history? Yes, I do! Do I believe that He will answer me if I pray specifically? Yes, I do!

Obviously, His answer is not always the one I would wish it to be. Sometimes it's YES! Sometimes it's NO. And, seemingly worst of all, sometimes it's WAIT. But, how do I know what He will or won't do if I never ask???

Here's the thing: If I know that God is bigger than any medical diagnosis, any problem, any broken heart or destroyed relationship, if He's the Lord of all creation, of Heaven and earth, of every single thing from the universe and whatever is greater than that to subatomic particles and whatever is smaller... then why should I ever keep my prayers from His throne? or distrust His ability to do whatever He wills?

In Matthew 4:23 the Bible says that Jesus went about “healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease” in Galilee.

I believe that!

So, I’m praying again for the things that seem “unrealistic”. Watch out!

I'm fully expecting miraculous results!


Rebecca said...

Laurie... you have no idea how this post blessed the SOCKS off me tonight. I so needed this!! I was just having a freak-out moment and your post reminded me to #1, PRAY, and #2, ASK GOD FOR MIRACLES!!! It is nothing for Him to help us bring our boy home sooner than what our agency says we will!!!

Thanks for this poignant reminder, for your annointed words & encouragement! I love you!


JourneytoFamily said...

Beautiful post!

Lori said...

I'm excited to read this through and through tomorrow! Wow, after scrolling down and seeing these beautiful pictures I'm so intrigued to read but I must see my MP for a bit before Ma-ta, Ma-ta (ni-night)!

xo Lor

darci said...

what a beautiful post. I often think my little faith boxes God in. Prayer is something I don't fully understand..but I do know He wants me to be 'practicing His presence' just walking and talking with Him. Thanks for the reminder to pray believing. He is so BIG!

Wolfemom said...

Wow! Thanks for that! Great stuff so wonderfully expressed. I've too have been convicted to pray more. The speaker at convo at Liberty last week challenged the students (and God had me there to hear it too) to seek the face of God in prayer. He talked about how we all seek His hand in prayer but do we primarily seek His face. To know Him more, to adore Him more. Wow! The Holy Spirit was speaking to my heart. God desires a relationship with me. He knows my needs. He knows I want my kids home. But do I tell Him that I seek Him above all?? Do I seek His face?? The talk stirred me and adjusted the way I pray. Thanks for keeping it real.

Kristi J said...

What an awesome and meaningful post!!! This is the whole reason I began reading blogs in the first place because I love getting my heart and mind filled right before going to bed....You just wake up happier...I love reading anything that can help us all be better people, living for Christ each day....thanks for the good read, Kristi

Melissa said...

Wow! What an amazing reminder and exhortation. Needed that this morning!

Teabo Chica said...

I sometimes read your blog like I am in your kitchen drinking coffee and listening to you talk! Oh I wish I was your neighbor too :) I would be like hey Larurie can I borrow creamer for my coffee and you would be like come on over and have some. See how I live in fantasy blog land :) okay thank you for your sweet reminders!

emily said...

I am thankful for you!! I so love your heart dear friend.

Tish said...

first, i LOVED reading your thankful lists!!!! but i understand your decision to keep them private. for me, it was enjoyable to see you giving thanks and praise for everything from the big to the small.

second, i agree with the prayer....my mom has beengiven 3-5 months to live, but i keep praying for a miracle...and not even so much for me but because i want her to stay as a laborer in theharvest!

Lori said...

Ok, I'm late, but forever thankful that I ever "found" you wee bit ago in blogland. You're inspirational to those who are around you, in presence and online.

I so loved to read your "thanks" in detail but this is much more emotional and real. We all have our daily struggles and mountains to climb, it's so nice to know that we're not alone. We are all the same, all of us.

Your transparency is refreshing and welcome to me... I can truly feel your heart and soul in this post, it's just beautiful in every way Laurie (name spelled wrong if you ask me)! :)

Love you!
Lori (name spelled the RIGHT way, get it)!

ErinOrtlund said...

Great post! It's so true--prayer should be the first thing we do!