Monday, December 5, 2011

Preventative Maintenance - How I learned to appreciate my least favorite prayer request.

Question: If you went to my fifth grade Sunday School class, what would you say if you couldn't think of a prayer request?

Answer: I don't read my Bible or pray enough.

Believe me, this happened all the time. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure there was a Sunday where this was the only prayer request anyone had at the end of the meeting. Two things about this request made me cringe every time I heard it. One, it didn't really sound like a request.

Them: "I don't read my Bible enough."
Me: "Yeah? I forgot to brush my teeth this morning. Let's pray."

Two, I wondered if it was entirely honest. Not in the sense where I thought these kids read their Bible or prayed all the time and simply lied. I mean I used to feel there was something bigger they wanted to share, but were too embarrassed to do so.

Now that I've said all that, I feel comfortable telling you this. I don't feel like I read my Bible or pray enough. If I were in a prayer circle right now, I would give it as my request. Before my house caved in last Spring, I used to have a morning routine of reading a few chapters and praying for 10-20 minutes before work. But after the Disaster and having my way of life uprooted, I lost the rhythm of my routines.

Last night, I thought about the Disaster and how I felt the presence of God throughout the turmoil. It helped my wife and I endure the hardest trial we had faced as a couple. I realize it's not the routine I miss, but the regularity of coming into God's presence. So even though I do read the Bible and pray, I want more interaction with the Holy Spirit in the prayer and study.

From now on, I'll try to think of my least favorite prayer request as preventative maintenance. Hard times will come, but I want to feel secure in my new life in Jesus when they come.

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