This Lent Devotional for Women is all about prayer again. I’m going to start with a quote from In Conversation with God. “When His spiritual suffering was so intense that it led Him into agony, the Lord turns to His Father with a prayer brimming with confidence. He calls Him Abba, Father, and says intimate things to Him. This is the way we too should adopt.”
I bring this up because sometimes I know my own prayer life can begin to get on the more formal side and the less “brimming” side, you know what I mean?
I want to give you a simple example of a prayer brimming with confidence. Now, please don’t think I take prayer lightly or am being flippant or frivolous. I’m just trying to be a child in the hands of my Creator, in the hands of my Father. And sometimes I am confident enough to act that way.
A few years ago, one of my daughters and I went to Florida to visit my oldest daughter. Sunday morning after church we went to the beach to walk around. As my daughter and I started walking, we began finding broken Sand Dollars on the edge of the beach.
And while I appreciate the beauty of even the broken Sand Dollars, I wanted more. I continued to pick up a few as souvenirs but I really wanted a whole Sand Dollar. So I asked God for a whole Sand Dollar.
A few minutes later I found one. So I asked for another, one for my husband Chris. A few minutes later I found another one. I was so touched by God’s answer to such a simple, little, insignificant prayer. And without a hint of testing, but full of a bold trusting, I asked for 9 whole Sand Dollars, one for each member of our family.
By the end of our walk a little over an hour later, I had collected 9 whole Sand Dollars!
I’ll tell you the rest of the story before we talk more about prayer. The rest of the story is they are fragile. By the time we had made it back to my daughter’s house after running a couple of errands, a few of them had split.
And then the next morning as I was trying to pack them for the trip home, a few more split. So my prayer was, “Please let me make it home with one for me and one for Chris.” That prayer was answered and mine sits on my desk and Chris’ hangs on a nail above his desk.
The point here is not to show what an amazing pray-er I am because I am so not! The purpose isn’t to reveal that sometimes I ask for insignificant, foolish things, because I do. And the purpose here isn’t to brag that God answers my prayers because He doesn’t always, or at least not in the way I’ve prayed or can understand so clearly at the time.
The purpose of sharing my Sand Dollar prayer story is to show you that you can be a not-so-hot pray-er at times and you can ask for insignificant and foolish things and sometimes God will answer in just the right time (think, our time) and just the right way (think, ours again) to reveal His love for us.
And other times, we can be a super-duper pray-er and ask for the really big and important things and it seems like God doesn’t answer us in a timely manner, if at all, and it seems like He doesn’t answer our prayer at all, ever, because it doesn’t look like what we prayed for.
The point isn’t the prayer as much as it is the conversation and trust. Jesus’ prayers in the garden went seemingly unanswered and yet the greatest love story ever lived happened because of those “unanswered” prayers.
I’m always reminded of the Garth Brooks song, “Unanswered Prayers.”
Sometimes I thank God, for unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talkin’, to the man upstairs
And just because he doesn’t answer, doesn’t mean he don’t care
Some of God’s greatest gifts, are unanswered prayers.
I feel like I could go on and on here but what I really want to say is, keep praying. And write down your prayer intentions and when they are answered–whatever that may look like and whenever it happens. Life is busy and hard and messy and answered prayers, especially the little, everyday ones, can get lost in the shuffle.
And while you keep praying, pray with confidence and intimacy. Those two right there are a whole other post or more!