Don't Hit the Snooze on This
"I'm so glad I got to spend this time with you, Erin" she said, "because now I know how to pray for you."
These were the words of a sweet lady named Emma who was tasked with picking me up at the airport and driving me to a recent event. We had never met before, but over lunch and a short road trip we got to know the basics of each other's lives. I learned about her grandson with special needs and her accountant husband who was busy crunching numbers in anticipation of tax time. I filed these kernels of information away as typical "getting to know you" stuff, but Emma went way beyond that. Emma was determined to use what she learned to inform how she prayed.
Emma is a prayer warrior—one of those people who operates as if she truly believes in the power of prayer. Because, of course, she does. She's seen God work over and over, and she knows that the most important thing she can do for others is to pray.
I want to be more like Emma.
My prayer life has always been a bit wimpy. I want to be a prayer warrior, want to be a girl who runs to the Lord first and often, want to stand in the gap for others through prayer... but I rarely do.
What Emma seemed to get that I have been missing is that prayer is simply a conversation. She talked to the Lord all day long about all kinds of things. Big things. Small things. Things that matter to other people. Things that matter just to her. Things where she needs God to move RIGHT NOW and things where she is simply asking for a gradual change.
Emma didn't pigeonhole her prayer life into a time slot or category. She simply talked to God all the time. And God listened and responded... all the time.
The rhythm of Emma's prayer life is actually described in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, which says, "Pray without ceasing."
That's a fancy way of saying start praying and don't stop. When it comes to prayer don't back off, don't break off, don't call it a day, don't discontinue the conversation. Just talk to God.
That's good news. It means to be an Emma-caliber prayer warrior I don't have to know exactly when and where to pray. I simply need to talk to the Lord and keep talking.
So with that goal in mind, I'd like to challenge us all to set our alarms for a different kind of reminder. Actually, I'd like us to commit to each setting two alarms a day for the next ten days, one for 5:17 p.m. and one for 5:17 a.m. (Yep, I know that's early!) When the alarm goes off, we need to do a simple task—start praying. That way we will start every day by opening a dialogue with the Lord and head into each evening by keeping the conversation going.
So who's with me? Are you willing to set their alarm as a reminder to "pray without ceasing"?