Today is the national day of prayer. Earlier this week my mom called me at work and asked me to send something in for the Indianapolis Star’s “Let It Out” section.
This is her quote: “Thursday, May 5 is the national day of prayer and if we ever needed more prayers, it’s definitely now.”
I was raised in a Christian home and prayer has always been a part of my life. I remember not being able to go to sleep as a child until one of my parents came into my room to say prayers. There were two standards – “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” followed by “The Lord’s Prayer.” Then I would add on a request for God to bless a string of family members.
As I grew older I didn’t need my parent’s presence any longer, but continued to pray on my own. To this day, I can’t go to sleep unless I say my prayers after my head hits the pillow. Wash my face, brush and floss my teeth, say my prayers. Every night.
I don’t know how I would stay sane without prayer. Yes, I still worry a little (ok, sometimes a lot), but I finally get to a point where I just give it up to God. When I had no idea where to go to college, I asked God to give me a sign. A street sign and a sweatshirt later, I chose Auburn. (It did happen to have a good school and a great basketball program.) When looking for a house, I liked the first one I walked through. Shouldn’t I look at other houses? I said a prayer and bid on it, and go it. I’ve been there over 16 years.
A couple weeks ago I had a conversation with a co-worker whose husband is a minister. She has been here maybe six years and I had never heard this story. When she first started working here, she was assigned to a certain person but, being new, was a little intimidated by their work style. She didn’t know what to do and prayed, “Lord, I can’t work with this person, please help me figure something out.” A little time passed and right before she was to really dig in and begin the working relationship, there was a change in some of the assignments and she ended up working with someone else.
Sometimes prayers are not answered the way you’d like, but that doesn’t mean they are not answered. “No” or “not now” are answers we don’t like, but God will never give you more than you can handle. Hang on and He will see you through. Sometimes what you wanted is not what is best for you.
When I was drafted in the American Basketball League I wanted to stay close to home and play in Columbus, Ohio. I was eventually drafted in the last round by Seattle – one of the furthest cities from Indianapolis. I was happy to be drafted at all, but not happy to be going so far away from home. I played in Seattle for two seasons it was evident to me very early on that Seattle was the best place for me. They had the best front office and the most wonderful city. How could I have wanted to live in Columbus vs. Seattle? (I’m sure Columbus is a nice city BTW.)
During our current crazy political times, it’s easy to get discouraged and feel like our country is “going to hell in a hand basket.” I recently came across this video of Andy Stanley that emphasizes the importance of faith, which goes hand-in-hand with prayer. We pray, having faith that God keeps his promises and knowing nothing can thwart the will of God. God is in control and can be trusted.
I am pretty good about praying regularly for my family and friends, but I don’t always think to pray for our country. Let’s all remember the good ole USA in our prayers. It is a powerful thing. We got to pray just to make it today!