Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Watch me safely through the night.
And wake me with the morning light.
I remember those words so clearly. It was the nighttime prayer that we said with our girls for many, many years. Of course our girls, to this very day, could probably tell you verbatim what they spoke next– “I’m special. I’m a Winner. Jesus loves me.”
Oh he does, he does.
If there is one thing in my Christian walk that I feel like I do sort of okay – it’s praying. If I tell you that I will pray for you – for something – I do it. Whenever you pop into my mind or a situation pops into my mind, I pretty much stop right there and pray immediately. To me, prayer is an ongoing, constant conversation with God. Your prayer doesn’t have to be beautifully worded. It doesn’t have to be prayed in an eloquent voice or hushed tone. Simply the fact that you are calling the God of the entire universe close to you to listen is completely enough.
Now, I know that he already knows what you are going to say even before you say it. He’s just smart that way. Wink. Wink. But to God, I just imagine how he must smile so when he hears the voice of his beloved child calling to him.
If you have kids or nieces or nephews who are little, you can picture this well. There just is nothing more beautiful than the voice of a child. It’s just so darn sweet. So darn cute. So darn precious. I’m sure God feels that way about us each and every time we pray.
My husband and I had the absolute privilege and blessing from God to send our two, precious girls to a Christian school from pre-Kindergarten to graduation. I know, crazy. The time spent at that school flew and even with its flaws, and believe me every place has them, it was the most beautiful place to grow in their understanding and fellowship with God. And, low and behold, not only did they grow while being there, but we did as well. I am so thankful for that blessing.
While I was a parent there, I was often asked to speak at the weekly chapel that the school held. I loved teaching kids – So much so that I eventually became a third grade teacher there, but that’s a story for a later time. Ok – back on track. I loved teaching kids, so I would speak at chapel often. One thing I always used while speaking was visual aides. I loved using visual aides so that the children could see vivid and real what I was sharing. One visual aide that I always loved using during my Prayer Chapel was my Prayer Umbrella. Whoa – what is that you ask?
Have you ever thought, why should I pray? Is it to get what I want? Is it to help bring the needs of other people before the Lord? Of course God loves to give his children great gifts and He loves for us to be intercessors on the behalf of others. But to me, prayer is just like an umbrella. Like an umbrella, prayer offers protection. It covers us. It shelters us from the winds and rain of life. The storms of life can be vicious, as you probably already know, and protection in the midst is critical. Prayer is what allows us to put on the full armor of God to wage war.
In the Bible, Jesus was often pictured praying. At Jesus Central.Com, they say this,” The New Testament Bible does not record precisely how many times Jesus prayed but in a sense He prayed all the time. He prayed every day. He spoke to His Father in prayer about everything. He was obedient to His Father and heard His Father’s will by seeking Him in prayer.”
It’s true! Jesus spoke to the Father all the time. He didn’t have to be in church. He didn’t have to be at dinner. He didn’t have to have a reason. He had a constant conversation with his Father and we can too and should!
In my years of teaching, I often told kids at school that I just love to pray. They would ask me, “How do you have time to pray?” I told them that I just pray anywhere and everywhere. I don’t need a special place to pray, although there is strong, spiritual benefit to praying in a special place.
In fact, one of my favorite movies talks a lot about prayer – War Room. If you have not seen that movie, go out right now and rent it from Net Flix or RedBox and watch it. Be prepared though: You will be changed! And grab a box of tissues. You will need it.
You can see the trailer here.
You see – Prayer. It’s life changing. It’s heaven calling. It’s the gates of hell storming.
I am completely sold out to praying and praying all the time. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing, so I believe that is good enough for me.
Some food for thought:
“Let us never forget to pray. God lives. He is near. He is real. He is not only aware of us but cares for us. He is our Father. He is accessible to all who will seek Him.”
Gordon B. Hinckley
Oh and P.S.
Want to know the visual I used for how prayer is a blessing to us? Well, picture this. I had a student volunteer come up and stand behind me with a vase of water. First, I told the student go ahead and pour some water on my head. Whoa – the giggles – the gasps. I said that it was completely fine to do so. So – he did.
So, standing there wet, I then I reminded them that prayer is like an umbrella – it shadows us – protects us like God does in his wings. It covers us. So, I pulled out my Prayer Umbrella. It was just an ordinary umbrella with Prayer written on it. I put that Prayer Umbrella up, over my head and then asked the student to go ahead and dump that water on me. And he did. Well, you can picture it.
Let’s pray, shall we?
Quotes and information used:
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