“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.”
Colossians 4:2, NLT
One day I listened to a young lady who was clearly exasperated. She said, “I’ve tried everything I know to do and nothing’s working out!” How many times had I spoken those very words and felt like there was absolutely no place else to turn?
When she finished recounting her situation, she asked me, “What do you think I should do now?” After quickly asking God to give me the words to speak to her, I found myself asking the young lady, “Well, have you prayed on it yet?” She said she hadn’t. In fact, she told me that prayer hadn’t even entered her mind concerning her predicament. The self-righteous me wanted to scream, “What? But you’re a Christian now! Don’t you know that you should ‘take everything to God in prayer’?” But, the I-feel-your-pain me thought back to when I felt that same horrible, helpless, exasperation. I certainly didn’t think of prayer as my first option either! I tried to handle things myself and subsequently struggled awhile with the same type of feelings and challenges. My change came after meeting with a mature Christian lady. She listened to me and then she’d ask the same question each time I asked her for advice. “Baby, have you prayed on it yet?” Then she’d offer to pray for me. Each time, she thanked the Lord for me and asked Him to help me tell Him something I was thankful for that day. Then, she’d thank God for giving me strength to make it through my situation. I wondered why she did that because in my mind He hadn’t helped me through my problems yet! I wasn’t thankful for what he had done. But, after some time, with her guidance, I’d gotten into the habit of praying every day and thanking the Lord for many things each day. That lady encouraged me, and showed me how to make prayer a priority in my daily life; and, to do so thankfully, through challenge-filled or challenge-free days.
So, I asked the young lady if I could pray for her…
When we pray we reaffirm our need for God and jog our memories to pay thankful attention to him. And, we become more and more mindful of his Spirit working in our lives to enable us to persevere through whatever challenges we find ourselves confronted with. Then, we can effectively encourage one another to get into the habit of praying regularly.
Have you prayed on it today?
By grace through faith,