15 Nov
The Abundant Ones - Week 2

Dedicated prayer time is not easy! With so many daily distractions it’s hard for me to focus my mind and rest in God’s presence, let alone engage in conversation with Him. I often find that after 7-12 minutes of directed thoughts to God my mind starts to wander. Before I know it I’m recalling the days events or thinking about the cake I’m looking forward to eating later. Even in writing this article I’ve had a few moments where my brain fights to distract me from the communion my heart desires. This encompassing exercise is rather taunting and I’m becoming increasingly more aware of how the enemy works to fracture our relationship with God.

I’ll admit, there wasn’t an abundance of time spent in prayer this week but there was definitely more than last (which still isn’t much). I even tried different avenues of speaking with God this week. There was a normalcy in the way I tried to have my first waking thoughts be a thankful good morning to God, but I can’t say even that was accomplished everyday. Actually, there was a point where I had to audibly cry out for my brain to stop the morning path it was on and focus all my energy to say a simple hello to our Lord. There was also limited nightly engagement (as usual) and an occasional asking of the Spirit to give me wisdom through reading His Word. These usual practices weren’t hefty by any means, but I got to experience something new in prayer as well.

Tuesday night I sat down to write out my prayers for God. My hand hit the paper, starting with request. When I got to the third word my heart stopped. The first thing I came to God with in prayer was supplication? By no means am I saying there is ANYTHING wrong with beginning prayer in supplication. However, this year, I’m asking for more than just a coming of Kingdom. I’m also asking to experience more of Him. I crossed out my written words and began again.

“Lord, first and foremost, how lowly of me to come into Your presence with requests before praise. For You Good Father have shown me many blessings, not just today but all of my days. You have been merciful and graciously kind to me regardless of my transgressions.”

The words that followed were just over half a page, filled with adoration, praise, and request for more. My love letter to God may not have been lengthy but it was fully engaged. I felt as if each word permeated my heart and the Spirit sat with me as we thought each line through.

What was I trying to say to God? What did I want Him to hear? In this moment, I just wanted to love God. I wanted to let Him know that despite my negligent actions I adored Him. Christ may know the truth of my heart without words but making my affections audible also reminds me that this engagement is real. The love exchanged between the Trinity and I, is more potent than I know. I ended the minutes I spent with God telling Him what a good day I had. I then turned the page to ask for His coming in the lives of 12 people who were on my mind. This was helpful in the way I had to write out specific requests for each person before moving on to the next. I also had the added benefit of rereading this prayer a few times in the succeeding days. It gave me an opportunity to again pray for the 12 and connect me to the love I felt in that moment.

Despite the feeling that there was no change in my prayer life, the Spirit tells me that isn't so. A growing change often doesn’t happen over night and I believe there’s a reason they say life’s a journey. Paul says in Colossians 4:2 “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” As I work to increase the steadiness of my prayer, I rejoice in the fact that another week has come to a close and how the Lord has been so very kind to me. He has come in and out of conversation this week, helped me to carve out time for Him, and even answered prayer. That’s right, answered prayer!

Recently I asked God a few times to send me someone I could give my recycling to. While this may not seem like much of an answered prayer to some (especially given where I live), last night He did just that! I walked downstairs to meet a visitor in my garage and someone walked by my gate, right in front of me, carrying a small gathering bag of bottles. This man had almost left my sight when God said to me, “there he is” and I barely let out a “hey,” as this man turned to me in curiosity. As I asked him if he wanted the two bags of recycling, his curious look changed from a “what do you want” type of curiosity, to a “could this be real” curiosity. I retuned back downstairs with the bags and the first thing I could manage to say to him was, “I’ve been waiting for you.” Now yes… these words do have the ability to be creepy… but it was as if they were the words he needed to hear. As if he believed he had been sent down that street on purpose. Could it be that God wasn’t solely answering my prayer in that gift? And if another prayer were answered in that exchange, would yet another one be answered in turn?

I think that's a beauty of God. In one answered prayer He can continue to answer further. His goodness exceeds our already aware knowledge of Him and His ability to shower us with love, as if we were the only one, is a constant.

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