A few posts back, I talked about learning how to start your own fire. Learning to put that motivation deep in your own soul. We need to learn to gather the twigs and limbs, chop the logs, and carry the weight of the wood, even when it means splintered arms. We must learn to build our own fires.
I really understood the necessity of prayer a few years ago, when I saw the role it played in my grandmother’s daily routine. She’d committed to it. Prayer was the first thing in her morning. She wouldn’t go a day without it. Even in the busiest of times, she’d turn the alarm clock back even further so her time spent in prayer would not get lost in the rush of things.
So I wondered; what is prayer? There’s got to be something to it for someone to remain so consistent in it. This wasn’t a short lived New Year resolution. It was a commitment. Sometimes hard to keep up with, not the easy way out, time sacrificed for it, heart poured into it. So I wanted to learn what prayer really was; because my idea of prayer was different and maybe I should be committing to what she had.
This one thing has made the difference in why I pray and motivated me to do so. Prayer is simply this, communication with God.
That leaves me with a few good reasons to want to pray.
God loves the long conversation.
He so enjoys those mornings on the couch; steaming black cup of coffee in hand, squinted sleepy eyes, and deep conversation. The kind where you pour over that thick leather bound book as He speaks so clearly through it that you can nearly hear the sound of His voice.
We are the children that He created when He felt alone and wanted deeper relationship. He wants us to show Him He is loved by choice, not by force. He longs for relationship with us.
Those long and clear conversations are not the only thing He loves though. He sits, waiting anxiously everyday to hear your voice. The short and broken prayers- yea, He loves those too. Don’t you see? You are His love and He’s committed to that. No matter what, He loves your prayers.
Prayer is powerful.
My grandmother is committed to prayer because it is powerful. It changes situations and leads us on a different path; a better one. Prayer changes us.
Prayer is our direct connection to God.
Think about it. What if someone told you that you had the ability to communicate with a God? Not just any man made god, though; you had a chance to talk to the God more powerful than all the rest.
You and I do have the ability to talk to God and He listens. We get to communicate with Him. We are able to ask Him questions and get to know Him. He listens. He answers.
That is prayer; communication with our Savior.
This is how we build the fire.
Do you ever have those days where you just don’t accomplish anything because you simply don’t know where to start? I know I do. There have been tons of things I would’ve accomplished sooner if I’d just started.
It’s pretty hard to “begin” when we have no motivation to do something. It’s hard to start when there’s no fire.
In all of my procrastinating and then finally starting, here’s what I learned. Everything begins with prayer. Even when we don’t know where to start on prayer, we should pray.
I keep relating to building your own fire. I like the metaphor of a campfire, but we know that the fire I’m referring to is that desire deep down in our gut. The desire to do something for the good of mankind. That selfless, beyond imaginable, insane idea that we can’t stop pursuing. The feeling that there is something bigger than all of this and how we know we want to be a part of it. The assurance in our minds that we’d do whatever it would take to be a part of such a thing, if it even existed. Well, it does exist (I like to think of it as The Higher Call. More on that later).
We’ve got to keep building that fire. Living like it’s a thought in the back of our mind that we’ll pursue someday, will lead to a thin stream of smoke and pile of ashes. Pursue those wild things racing around in your head. They’re not beyond your reach. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” -Philippians 4:13.
But what about when we feel like the burning motivation is gone with the breeze and the sparks don’t fly up into the sky any more? What about when the wood we’ve gathered is soaked from the rain and we just don’t know how to start a fire?
It’s always time to pray. I Thessalonians 5:17-18 “Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Prayer, communication with our Savior, is how to start the fire.
Praying is finding the dry leaves to light, gathering the wood and twigs, stacking the logs together, and saying “Yes, I believe I can build a fire now. This looks like a way to catch a flame and keep it glowing.” And then, knowing your box of matches is empty, you remember that you have something better… a God who answers by fire (1 Kings 18).
You see, we must do the work we can do, and then trust God to send the flaming spark. During the building, in the mean time, and while the fire is burning, we pray. And when we pray with faith, God will consume what we’ve created and we will be left with the brilliant, powerful fire.
Today our goal is to look up to Heaven and get into a real conversation with our Savior.
I’ll see you around the campfire,
I would LOVE to hear from you!
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