Despite my best efforts, life’s been getting away from me. My husband described it best: “You spend your time playing catch up, staying up late, waking up tired, then going through the day sliding sideways . . . ”
It’s true. I’m working hard, but can’t gain any traction. Even with a regular quiet time, I spend too many days ruled by the tyranny of the urgent. I’m engaged in God’s work, but fighting to stay in the ring and finish the work. So I’ve taken a hard look at my calendar, cut and cleared my schedule, and still–
–I feel like I’m running behind the bus.
And I hate that feeling.
So I started getting up earlier to plan my day around what God—and only God—has called me to do. But I still feel harried. Powerless. Something’s still off, still missing. Sitting out on my porch one morning, I made a checklist to discover the cause of my frenzied, fizzled-out funk:
- Prayed about God’s work and received God’s clear answer.
- Began the work in faith and am following God’s plan.
- Working diligently on the project according to His plan.
I was stumped. Lord, what am I missing? I cleared my calendar and established a better sleep routine. I spend each morning with You. Why do I feel tired, overwhelmed, and unmotivated to finish Your work?
Then yesterday God revealed the answer: “You will only experience My power in the proportion that you pray.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m a big picture thinker. I pray over the agenda and strive to obey what God reveals. Vision, wisdom, and perseverance are key elements in my prayers to move along God’s path. Yet, when it comes to mundane details, I tend to shoot prayers over the bow–as needed–forgetting that prayer is “needed” everywhere.
I wonder how often a lack of prayer is responsible for the lack of power in our lives.
Every work of God takes continual prayer to support, empower, and finish it. That means offering ongoing prayers for wisdom and guidance, followed by careful listening and praise for God’s response. Then obedience amid continued seeking in prayer and listening for God’s further instructions. All amidst Spirit directed adjusting–and re-adjusting. Then more praise, more listening, and on it goes . . .
But sometimes we treat prayer like a set of bookends with our work sandwiched in between.
We pray at the beginning and praise at the end, and stack our own stuff in the middle. But is that what apostle Paul had in mind when he urged us to pray in the Spirit without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17)? No, unceasing prayer is more like the binding that holds the pages of a book together. It’s like the ink that breathes words onto each page. It’s the central theme that holds the story together and gives it life.
That means the life and work not saturated in prayer is not supported by it either.
So whether at home or in ministry, making prayer the supporting theme will make us powerful and effective in it. And isn’t that what we all want?
For obedience and perseverance may take us far, but it’s prayer that carries us over the finish line.
What about you? What empowers you in your work for God?First photos courtesy of Crestock.com Third photo credit: Canned Muffins via photopin cc