Wednesday, October 24, 2012

On Prayer...

   Saturday I ran my first 5K! Well, I ran about 85% of it and walked the other 15%, but I felt pretty good about it. I came into the last leg of the race and exhaustion started setting in. I started telling myself, "You can do it." "You've got this." And as I was thinking that, God placed it upon my heart to ask for His help and I was immediately convicted. He whispered to me, "What if instead of always saying 'You've got this...You can do it,' you asked Me for help?".
   How often do I dive head-first into something thinking that I am fully capable of handling it on my own, only to find out that I can't.  I find myself so often trying to fix things and do things on my own without seeking God first. Instead, I need to start with, "Father, I need Your wisdom, Your guidance, and Your strength to carry me through this." And, the reason we need to do this is not to clutch the victory or to ensure our success. It is for a deeper purpose.
   I'm going through Beth Moore's book James: Mercy Triumphs right now and I think she sums it up very well when she says: "Prayer can prime the well of our souls to a bath of His beautiful presence. It is often the most determining factor in whether, in our anguish, we sink or swim." I love how she poetically describes how prayer primes, or prepares, our soul. Prayer allows us to begin to see things from a heavenly perspective. It revitalizes our spirit. It empowers us. Paul prays for spiritual empowerment for the Ephesians when he says,

"When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep God's love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God."  

   So as I pushed myself towards the finish line, God struck up conversation with me and the last little bit of the race was actually quite pleasant. God did not physically pick me up and carry me across the finish line. My lungs still burned and my calf muscles still ached. But as I talked with Him, I became less consumed with the pain and began to notice the beauty of His creation around me. I began to think upon and intercede on behalf of the girls who would be impacted by this Freedom 424 race. I began to delight in His presence.