So this is my word to you: ask and it will be given you; search and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.
You see, everyone who asks receives! Everyone who searches finds! Everyone who knocks has the door opened for them!
Our two daughters started taking this after school art class that goes for an hour every Thursday. So instead of picking them up at 3:00 on that day, I have until 4:00 to do whatever I need/want to do.
On the Thursday before Christmas break, I confirmed that they were still having the art class so as to plan my day. Yes, it was still on this day before the big break.
Well, the power of habit.
3:00 approaches, and I trek right over to pick them up. As soon as they come out they ask, “Daddy, are we not going to illustrator class?” “Craaaaap! I forgot! Yes, you’re going. Go back in, I’ll get you in an hour, so sorry.”
“You said a bad word, daddy.”
“Just go back in, I’ll see you at four!”
Walking back to my car, I mildly berated myself for screwing up and wasting a precious hour, but nothing to cause me permanent emotional damage. Then I wonder what I’m gonna do with my new found free time, which is probably forty-five minutes by this point.
Normally, I think of the closest bookstore to go to, or maybe grab a coffee. But then I had the thought, “Just sit in your car and be still. You always have a book in the car. You don’t need to go anywhere.”
I looked through the four little paperbacks I keep in the car, and I chose Prayer: The Mightiest Force in the World by Frank Laubach. I’d been looking forward to reading this one for a while now.
Oh my. I can hardly describe the grand blessing I received reading this little book! I got through over fifty pages sitting there in the parking lot, and God spoke so powerfully through this experience.
First off, I was reminded of the obvious truth that there is always a blessing waiting to be uncovered, at each moment of your every day.
Secondly, God vividly reminded me of the power and efficacy of prayer.
A life saturated in prayer.
One thing God has shown me this year is that when my frustration levels rise with people, at their not doing what I feel they should be doing, the frustration is due to a lack of prayer for them on my part. It is difficult to be frustrated with people you are praying for continually. And the more you are praying for someone, the easier it is to simply love them. Your feelings toward them actually change.
Not only that, but I’ve seen people’s hearts soften as a result of prayer over them. Through prayer, that which we cannot make happen, is accomplished through YHWH. Laubach attests to many stories of this in his book. It was needed and inspiring to be reminded of this. I had gotten away from praying persistently for people, and found myself focused on too much on them and their shortcomings more than on God and just talking to Him.
Laubach writes about praying at the back of people’s heads on the bus, and how many times they would seem to know it, turn around, and start talking about the deep things of life with him “out of the blue.” I’ve experienced this myself. I remember one time at a concert praying for every person I saw, feeling the love of God for them intensely, and I ended up having three deep-things-of-life conversations with searching, hurting people pouring their hearts out that nite. And this at a metal festival. My buddy I was with was like, “Man that was weird.”
God is weird.
Another specific incident was on a Friday at the gym, where this guy said that he thought that there is no pure deed done by anyone. There’s always selfish motives in there somewhere. It really bugged me that he said that. It saddened me. I’m sure I took some of it even personally. But I remember deciding to give it to God, and I prayed for him all weekend long. I prayed for his heart, that God would reveal Himself to Him. And would you know, come Monday, he comes up to me and first thing he says, “Hey, I wanna take something back I said on Friday…”
I’ve had things like that happen many, many times.
Thank you, gentle Lord for reminding me of the power of talking everything over with You. Thank you for reminding me that You want to work in people’s hearts in a real way, but that You wait to hear from us first much of the time. Sometimes you wait a loooong time.
I’m thankful I screwed up and arrived an hour early to pick the girls up that day. I’m thankful I had that book in the car. I’m thankful that prayer makes a difference. That it is not merely talking to the wall, or pointless wishful thinking. It is power. It is energy in the form of some sort of telepathy that affects the world around and within us.