Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: SWEET HOUR OF PRAYER (don’t write about the song) (04/30/15)
- TITLE: Lord, Teach Me to Pray
By Trudy Newell
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The year I spent on Operation Mobilization in my early twenties taught me about prayer. What a blessing to have my quiet time scheduled into the day. Now I have to work to carve out that sweet time alone with the Lord. I thank God for that year. I experienced my first night of prayer. What an opportunity to grow in my walk with Him, and prepare for life on the mission field.
A teammate and I found a map of the Middle East. Early in the morning we would pray over countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, India, and Albania. Now, years later, I see the unique way God works. The chaos in the Middle East has brought many people from these lands to the Lord Jesus. At that time Albania was a closed country. Not so today. Back then, to reach those groups, you had to go to them. Today, the Lord has literally brought the world to us. We need to go to them, but it’s a lot closer. Instead of long flights, we can drive down the street.
Does God answer prayer? Absolutely! – But seldom as we expect. Even when He answers “yes”, He answers differently. Isaiah 55 tells us that God’s thoughts aren’t our thoughts, and His ways aren’t our ways. Often I run ahead of the Lord. I’ve learned that the Lord loves to surprise me.
We have busy schedules. If I am going pray, I have to make it a priority. The morning works best for me. I need that foundational time of prayer.
I need a place and a time of quiet to pray away from the noise. I find it helps to give some verbal expression, even if it’s only a whisper under my breath.
I have prayed at a coffee shop “in shorthand.” I have prayed at my computer, during my break. I typed away to the Lord, then deleted it.
There are wonderful examples in the Bible of sweet fellowship with the Lord. The Psalmist prayed three times a day (Psalm 55:17). Daniel took this to heart. With a super-full schedule as an administrator in the Babylonian Empire he made prayer a priority. He prayed three times a day before an open window towards Jerusalem. He was bold. It was his daily practice, and he wound up in a den of lions because of it. I’m afraid I would pray behind closed doors! Daniel was consistent. He did not change his practice or his pattern because of the king’s command.
I love Psalm 119:164 –Seven times a day will I praise thee... It works for me. First thing in the morning with my first cup of coffee, meal times are a natural break, mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and as I go to bed. Once I got in the habit what a joy this sweet communion with the Lord is.
Jesus, God’s Son, needed fellowship with His Father. He rose early in the morning; spent whole nights in prayer. He prayed alone; He prayed with His disciples. If the perfect Son of God needed to pray as a human, how much more do I need to pray.
Sometimes I think God says “no”, when He is saying “wait.” As a young single missionary in Iran, I had a talk with the Lord one day.
Lord, working with Muslims is tough enough. But they don’t understand why I am single. They don’t ask, “Are you married?” but “How many children do you have?” I get so lonely. Are You sure about this single life you planned out for me?
At last, I realized that I needed to forget the whole idea of marriage, and serve the Lord with gladness. I didn’t want romantic considerations hindering me from the ministry God had called me to do.
I put a glass barrier between me and thoughts of marriage. I enjoyed watching couples who had a good marriage, and could rejoice when God led two of my co-workers together in marriage.
I would never have guessed the surprise God had for me.
It is like He said, “Do you remember your prayer twenty years ago?”
“What prayer, Lord?”
In my fifties, a confirmed “single missionary lady”, God brought Mike into my life.
God had marriage in mind, but not my way. He had a better plan.
I now pray and trust God to work His plan out.
P – Pray
U – Until
S – Something
H - Happens
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