As a young woman, I’ve found that my prayer life needs to be tended to sometimes. It can be difficult to work in a daily time of prayer to my busy schedule. I’m not yet a mom, so my list of “roles” may look very different from yours. I’m sure you could substitute you’re own titles in here.
I’m a teacher. (And I must add that along with that comes nurse, peacemaker, behavior analyst, you name it…I am.)
I’m a daughter.
I’m a student. (Yes, it’s true. I’m going back to school!!!)
I’m single. (Okay, well this doesn’t really count since I’m not “going out” all the time and singleness doesn’t necessarily add to my “to do” list. But still there’s some implications.)
I’m a piano teacher.
I’m a s
uperhero sister. (We’ll just go with sister.)
I love everything I am. However, the responsibilities add up and the time it takes to accomplish everything that needs to be done each day leaves very little room for time alone with God. I thought about this today as I stood with my 17 sixth graders for a moment of silence and the Pledge of Allegiance in my classroom. I use that 20 seconds or so of silence every morning to pray over my students (some more than others) and my day. Today was an interesting day. Not because what I’m about to share with you never happens, but simply because I actually noticed myself doing it…more than once. I found that many times throughout the day I would pray short, simple prayers in my heart. That kid with the obnoxious antics had absolutely no idea I was praying for both him and me! Seriously. As situations or people would come to my mind, I prayed for them. Then, God tugged on my heart about something. I’m in constant communication with God however, I tend to leave very little time to listen to God talking back to me in those busy times during the day.
One day a couple of weeks ago, I was able to sit in my classroom alone with all of the lights off and spend some time just listening. Prayer, just like any other conversation, is two-fold: talking and listening. You talk to God. You listen to God. Many days, I don’t have the opportunity to sit down in the middle of the day to listen in silence for Him to speak in His “still, small voice”. Therefore, my quiet time comes at the end of my day as I process (or try to anyway) the day’s events. I’m amazed sometimes at what God says back to me.
I know I talk about this all the time, or at least I think I do, but many months ago my prayers underwent a drastic makeover. I was so challenged to pray bold, audacious prayers and so I gave it a try. I knew that I needed and wanted God to do some pretty big things in and with my life. I like to say that I’m letting God be the author, and to me there’s just something special about that. I’ve found that He makes the best author because impossible is nothing to Him. So, I wrote down what would become my “sun stand still” prayer. I started praying over my future and the things that God would reveal to me in His time. Things such as my career path, my husband ( Ladies, you should check out Psalm 121:1-10…powerful!), and my children. I began asking God to show me “burning bushes”. Let me clarify by saying that when I refer to “burning bushes”, I’m not literally talking about a bush that’s on fire, but rather something that catches my attention and stops me in my tracks so that God can talk to me. I want to be like Moses as he heard God speaking from such a normal, yet abnormally used, tree. Have you ever asked God to show you some burning bushes that would get your attention when He’s ready to speak to you?
I am many things to many different people in my life and therefore, these responsibilities demand much of my time. I know that as a vibrant and growing woman of God, I’ve got to stay plugged into prayer time. Here’s some things that God has been teaching me lately regarding prayer. I hope these encourage you!
1. Pray continually. Prayer is as simple as talking to God, but many times we give up opportunities to chat simply because we believe that prayer has to be some eloquent and drawn out routine. In fact, prayer is probably most effective when it is spontaneous, unrehearsed, and genuinely from your heart. Be conscious of those “little moments” when you can lift up a quick prayer to God and go for it!
2. Give God a chance to talk! We all hate it when conversations go awry because one person does all the talking. (Hopefully you’re not that person!) Prayer is simply a conversation. Allow God to respond and you might just be surprised at what you hear Him say.
3. Don’t be afraid to pray for the impossible. Nothing with God is ever really impossible. He’s the author of the universe, the beginning and the end. As long as you see your situation as impossible or hopeless, you’re not allowing God to just be God. Take a step of faith this week and pray for something you see as an impossible task or situation. Give it to God and watch Him work!
4. Seek out the burning bushes in your own life. Maybe its a co-worker or a situation. Look for those unusual ways that God may be speaking to you and take the time to listen!