I love to pray.
Spending time with the Lord is probably my favorite thing to do.
And prayer time continues to grow and change.
When our children were small I spent a lot of prayer time seeking wisdom.
I would lift up each of our children, their individual struggles and success, their future, their gifts and abilities, and even their future spouses.
I also spent a lot of time sorting through my emotions, my past, my fears, and my daily struggles.
While we lived overseas my prayers were for direction, understanding, endurance, and to lift up the daily things.
When you live in a different culture you see things about yourself you didn’t know were there, so I spent a lot of time getting my heart right before God.
As we returned prayers changed again.
Reentry was extremely difficult.
Housing, job, and our future were challenging.
To add to that my husband was sick, so sick he wasn’t sure how much longer he would have.
The strain was nearly unbearable, so my prayers were often desperate, pleading, and full of pain.
Yet, there was a certainty of God’s faithfulness which carried me through and it was in prayer where I heard the voice of the Lord giving me strength for another day.
Then came my own illness.
9 months of being sick with an unknown which only increased with time.
It all culminated in surgery which was the turning point.
During those days prayer became my heartbeat.
Nothing else mattered.
No physical pain could hinder my special time with Jesus.
Nothing was or ever shall be as precious, not even life, as my time in prayer.
With healing brought busy.
I was able to do and I did.
I said yes to every need.
I stretched myself beyond any request God had called me to.
In those days I prayed, but without understanding.
I truly thought God was calling me to it all since He had healed me and in my mind it was my responsibility to do everything.
Until one day.
The very memory shames me.
I was driving from one “to do” to another and saw a sign on a church.
“My burden is easy and My yoke is light.”
Was my emidiate response.
“Then why am I so overwhelmed? Lord, why have You given me so much to do?”
Then slowly, like a bud opening to sunlight, my heart realized the truth.
When I’m carrying only what the Lord has given, my burden is light.
I am the reason I am over worked and overwhelmed.
My prayers became full of apology, and seeking His path for my weary feet.
Then came heartache.
A season of grief.
My prayers were full of anguish, anger, frustration, and sorrow.
Through it all I knew He was leading, He was speaking, He was guiding, but it hurt.
Another moment of lesson which is almost as embarrassing as the first.
I remember it was dark and I was outside in the rain gathering firewood.
I was angry.
And my prayers were questioning, almost accusing the Lord for the circumstance I was in.
And His answer was so gentle.
Child, why are you angry?
It stopped me in my tracks.
“Because I want things to go a certain way and they are not.– I’m sorry Lord.”
And my prayers turned to humble confession.
It took weeks for me to confess all the ways I had tried to manipulate circumstances in my past.
But it was so incredible.
With each instance reviewed and confessed came such grace and mercy.
It was the beginning of healing.
My heart’s hurting was being removed by each instance to be humble and repent.
I learned what surrender to my ideas really looked like, at least a beginning, it’s a lesson I’m still learning.
Unspeakable joy began to prevail into every area of my life.
My prayers were filled with thanksgiving and praise.
The Lord’s voice was easily heard and obediance was pleasant.
When the nightmares began, I was surprised.
Not one or two a night, but many.
I would wake up screaming or crying, over and over.
It lasted for four months.
During this time my prayers were seeking.
I truly felt God was training me.
This was not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers.
This was spiritual warfare.
And I remember the last dream so vividly.
Awful, horrible things were occurring when suddenly my husband stepped into my dream.
I turned and looked at him.
He said, “I have had enough of this. I’m putting a stop to it right now.”
He took my hand and walked us away from the evil.
I woke up.
And I realized my prayers needed to be covering my husband.
So I pray for him every day, many times.
I pray specifically and generally, but I pray often.
And my prayers changed again.
I got sick.
I’m still sick,
but I’m learning so much!
My prayers are my breath.
Talking with the Lord is what carries me through day after day.
I’m still praying for my husband, our children, our future, and our daily lives.
I’m still praising and thanking God, especially now as I’m never sure what a day might hold.
I’m still listening for those moments when God needs to humble my heart and teach me to surrender in a new way.
I have peace like never before.
My prayers are sweet, no matter the circumstances.
I am filled with love for so many people.
My heart is steady, no matter the challenges.
I have assurance of God’s goodness like never before.
My emotions still vary, but never like the sea calm and then turbulent, as in the past.
And I’m expectant.
What might the Lord teach me next
by simply praying?