My week at Maranatha was inspiring and helpful, both to my Christian goals and my writing goals. The main speakers—Jerry Jenkins, Lynn Austin, and Crystal Bowman, among others—were so focused on presenting Jesus in all their work that I was quite humbled. I’d say a main point I got was that I don’t pray enough over what I write.
So I wonder how many Christians take seriously the “pray without ceasing” instruction. Sometimes I get up with the intention of praying about everything all day, and then I simply forget. I get so caught up in the day’s activities that I don’t think to continue to pray. I doubt that I’m alone in that.
Jerry Jenkins told about asking Billy Graham about his daily disciplines as a Christian. He keeps a Bible open all day so he’ll be reminded to go to it often. He prays constantly about everything that arises in his day. No wonder the man has influenced so many people for Christ! And already my Bible is closed and I didn’t pray about watering the yard. Should I have? I did pray over this blog post and have no idea where it’s going. I guess I just want to remind us all to pray without ceasing. (Yes, I learned that verse when the King James Version was the only one I’d ever read, but “pray continually” is equally powerful.)
I’ve always been inspired by Nehemiah’s response when the king asked him, “What is it you want?” He says, “I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king….”
I can recall specific instances where I was in such a hard spot that all I knew to do was to pray. Afterward, I rarely remembered what I said, but I knew it had been the right thing because the situation worked out okay.
Once a parent accosted me on my way to class one morning. She was upset that her son had gotten a C on a paper—a gift, from my perspective. I suspected she had written it because it in no way fit the assignment as we had discussed in class, so I knew I was treading on dangerous ground. I prayed as I began to answer her. Whatever I said worked for her, because we parted amicably. I still wonder what words God gave me to say to her that diffused her anger and allowed us to remain congenial. And remembering that always inspires me to pray about everything, but especially when I am speaking. I need special prayers to control that tongue of mine, since I know it is “a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body,” as we read in James 3:6. But no doubt the “pray without ceasing” approach (I Thessalonians 5:17) can overcome the evil of my tongue. I'm sure I need to pray more about that.