It was a hipster coffee shop called Thump. They roast their own coffee beans, of course. I bought a bottle of Kombucha because I wanted something cold and because I don’t drink coffee. Don’t ask me how to pronounce it. It promised me strawberry lemonade and delivered an earthy mixture of flavors unfamiliar to my Southern palate. Continue reading “Asking, part 1”
I have never been particularly good at prayer — diligence, faithfulness or even lament. “Prayer warrior” would never make my resume. I’ve known people who are amazing at this. The ones who use a journal or index cards with names for each day of the week. Or pray for an hour each day. Or have a particular place they always pray. I’ve known those people. And felt a sense of awe for them. I long for that kind of discipline. Continue reading “Asking, part 2”
A friend recently shared a quote from Paul Miller that I liked. It’s from a book on prayer. “Every minute spent in prayer is one less minute where you can be doing something productive. The act of praying means you have to rely more on God.”
To make space for prayer, we have to stop what we’re doing. But we don’t just stop what we’re doing. We have to stop thinking about all the things we think we need to do. We have to train our minds to be quiet and still before the Lord. It’s a submission. A humility.
About 10 women sat in a circle poised to pray. Needy women. With broken families. Broken bodies. Broken marriages. Longings. Pain. Women like me.
One by one, each woman sat in a chair and shared what hurt her heart. Open. Willing to receive. From her sisters. From her God.
I braced myself for the onslaught of needs. I knew I couldn’t meet them. That lesson was deeply entrenched because of God’s work in my heart. I knew I couldn’t meet them, but I was still prepared for them to be overwhelming. Continue reading “A new way to pray”
Everywhere I turned, I saw a prayer request. A need.
When we were in India, part of my work was crafting honest requests on behalf of my family in a creative way. These requests were sent to people who supported us, for the purpose of making our needs known so that our team could come around us in prayer.
Another part of my work was sorting newsletters from families living all over South Asia to develop story ideas. Sometimes it would be 80 newsletters per month, two to three pages each. And, that’s just the people I didn’t know. There would be another 20 or so from people I knew personally.
At first, I felt like I should pray through each newsletter I received. Then, I allowed myself to focus on the people I knew personally. I felt like I should care about each family, each person. Anything less seemed insincere. But, I couldn’t do it.
It took me a long time to realize that God never intended to use me to meet everyone’s needs. Not even all of the needs of all of the people I am blessed to know. Continue reading “When God is silent”