I went to see War Room with my husband Paul soon after its release. A box office hit, the movie presents the story of a couple with a rocky marriage and an older woman who mentors the wife toward a renewed relationship with God and a restored relationship with her husband and child. The wife does battle, not against her husband but against the powers of darkness. She wins her war.
More often than I like to admit, I have been checking prayer off my to do list at the end of the day. For Paul and me, our end of the day prayers were often rote and delivered in a semi-conscious state.
Now we end our days on our knees.
Even before I went to see the movie, I had been making an effort to pray more. Last Saturday morning, I decided to pray before leaving for a Bible study. The Bible study is about prayer, how it changes things, how it changes us, so prayer seemed appropriate.
Noting that I didn’t have much time I said, “This isn’t really a prayer, Lord. It’s more of a prayer-ette.”
But instead of just tossing my list at Him and running, I was just quiet. One situation came to mind.
“Lord, work that out.”
A friend and her family came to mind. Trials are swarming at her church: a terminal diagnosis, a child gone astray, an accident that caused injury. She feels helpless.
“Lord, work that out.”
By now it was time to go, so I got in the car. Another situation came to mind, and I prayed my same prayer. “Lord, work that out.”
I wasn’t making the list. He was.
On Monday, my sister-in-law called asking for prayer for a co-worker struggling with depression. “I just don’t know what else to do,” she said, sharing that same sense of helplessness my friend has been feeling.
We struggle as we look around ourselves. Help only comes when we look up.
We marvel that we can ask God large things and small. “Please help me find my keys!” “Please help us manage the cost to fix the car.” I pray the key request frequently. Paul prayed the car repair request the other day. The car is a 1998 model. Breakdowns happen.
We hoped the bill would be low. We were shocked to find that the repair was covered under a recall.
“Free” was beyond our expectations.
I don’t mean to minimize some of our requests before God. He is much bigger than mislaid keys and broken down cars. And He is not the Santa Claus God. He is sovereign. He is there for us. But He is not there to serve us. He is there for us to serve.
Sometimes our requests are as big as moving mountains. And sometimes, He says, “If you want the mountain to move, you have to keep digging in the dirt. And you will get dirty as you work.”
Or harder still, “You have to wait. Be still and wait.”
He is there. He is faithful. An “ever present help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46: 1).
He is shaping us, preparing us to be reflectors of His light, helping us to shine in darkness.
So wait, dig, shine, and watch Him move the mountains. But first–pray.
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