I have to admit it. I was driving about 25 miles per hour on my way to church this evening for two meetings and Surge. All of the sudden, I saw the lights behind me inching ever so close to my rear bumper. I wasn’t speeding. In fact, I’ve been driving for hmmm…almost 27 years and have never even had a speeding ticket. So, why was this impatient person riding my bumper? Well, I was so lost in prayer, that I failed to realize that the speed limit was 35mph., and I was slowing people down.
I was thinking about how much I enjoy our Wednesday evening Surge. It has become not just an evening of bible study, but it has evolved into a prayerful study. I am a person who prays a lot. And that is an understatement I guess. I pray while I’m waiting in line at the grocery store. I pray everytime an ambulance goes by. I pray for people who I see sitting in their cars. I really pray for the parents I see with screaming kiddos at Walmart. I pray for people I know, people I don’t know, and I pray for the people that I never see living across the world.
I find myself praying fairly consistently throughout the day. I pray before starting work, I pray as decisions need to be made, I pray for guidance, I pray for the right words, I pray for God’s direction, I pray for help, and I give thanks to God just out of the blue. I have this addiction to prayer. I just cannot go without praying. I know I can’t possibly make it through an entire day without it. Why? Because, if I do, I will rely upon me. I am so faulted as a human, that I will probably make the wrong decision or take the easy road. The only way I can survive and hope to take the path that God has created for me, is to communicate with Him, praise Him, and love Him. That only happens when I pray. And, I do pray a lot!
So, when I left for church tonight and got lost in prayer while driving, I was just poking along, irritating some driver behind me. I thought to myself, “What if I’d been pulled over for driving so slowly?” I wondered if I could’ve used the excuse of driving under the inluence. The influence of prayer. As I sit here writing this, the message has just hit me. When I am praying and actively communicating with God, I am slowing down. I am not rushing. I am not acting hastily. It’s slowing down, waiting, and acting as He guides me to.
Oh, see this is so amazing. What if our communities could build a place of prayer open to the general public, the homeless, the lost, the individuals who have nothing left, nowhere to go, nothing to live for, the desperate, those at the end of their ropes (and that would include me…I get there sometimes, too!) to walk into to find hope through Jesus Christ. There is no place in our community that is open 24 hours. Christ can be received any time of day or night, seven days a week, every single day of the year. The power of prayer doesn’t sleep. Yet, our churches are usually open for services, studies, and meetings.
I read an article on churches several months ago, and it still remains fresh in my memory. The jist of it was summed up as…many individuals who are lost and broken don’t enter our churches to seek help, because they already feel bad enough. Yes, ouch. So what if it’s not a church that individuals can come to for help and prayer…someone to care, someone to listen, someone to witness. And why did I mention hope earlier? H (House) O (OF) P (Prayer) E (Everyday). Every community across the world should have a HOPE-House of Prayer Everyday.
When I got home this evening, my youngest daughter had a card waiting for me with two pictures inside that she drew. She didn’t go to AWANNA, since she wasn’t feeling well. I was a little disappointed that she didn’t go, because I love hearing about what she’s learned about Jesus. I opened the card and there was a picture of me as a baby. She drew Jesus above me with a cross, and it read, “I command you to love this woman.” Isn’t that awesome? (No, not that she feels that everyone is to love me, although it was a funny thought.) We are commanded to love one another as He loves us.
We are commanded to also spread the Good News to those who have never heard it, and we are commanded to help our brothers and sisters through the same love and acceptance that Christ extends to us. That builds hope, and hope is belief. Belief becomes prayer.
I hope, believe, and pray that HOPE (House of Prayer Everyday) will exist in every community across the world. I pray that Seasoned With Salt be a part in building HOPE in each community by providing the funding for such projects. Let’s pray and ask God to guide us.
By the way, if you are looking for a great book to read, read Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire-by Jim Cymbala.