Prayer - January 2011
Need help sorting out your problems, managing your days, and satisfying your deepest longings? It starts here.
If you use the Internet, you know what a quick and easy source of information it can be. Instead of trekking to a library to pore over stacks of books and other printed material to locate something, you can find what you need right from home or work by simply using an Internet search engine, typing a few key words, and clicking “search.” Instantly, links to a multitude of websites related to whatever it is you’re looking for appear on your computer screen. Admittedly it is hit and miss, and you may still need to skim quite a bit of...Read more
From the early-learning wooden or foam variety to intricate 10,000-piece or 3D types, puzzles are a proven way to develop problem-solving skills, as well as a pleasant hobby for all ages.
When I was 11, I became fascinated with jigsaw puzzles. My mother and I would relax together at the kitchen table, piecing together increasingly complex puzzles. We would cover the unfinished puzzle with the tablecloth at mealtimes, then remove it afterward and get to work at finding that next piece.Read more
The Lord leaves a lot up to us and our concern and prayer. If we only pray halfheartedly, we only get half an answer. But if we pray with our whole heart, we get a wholehearted, strong answer. Like a beam of light focused on a mirror, a prayer will reflect or be answered with the same intensity that it was prayed.
The game of pocket billiards, or pool, also makes a fitting analogy. There are a number of variations of the game, but all are played on a six-pocket billiard table and have the same basic object: to use a...Read more
When my older sister Evelyn was 16, she suddenly began experiencing excruciating pain in her lower-right abdomen. As the pain intensified, she began running a fever and vomiting. I remember the anxiety and desperation we all felt as my dad rushed her to the nearest hospital.
A doctor in the emergency unit discovered a large gangrenous cyst in Evelyn’s abdomen. The cyst had twisted, cutting off blood circulation and causing the extreme pain. Time sped by in a blur as she was hurriedly prepared for emergency surgery. At home, the rest of us prayed fervently, asking Jesus to protect, comfort, and...Read more
For the New Year when I was six, what I wanted above all was to move to the mountains. Over the Christmas holidays my family had visited relatives who lived in a mountainous area, and it was the first time I’d experienced the magic of so much snow. I’d loved every moment of it.
I prayed earnestly for our family’s relocation, starting around Christmas and continuing well into January. At first I was confident that it would take place soon, but it finally became obvious that no move was imminent. I eventually got over the childish fixation, but the question lingered...Read more
There are so many benefits to spending time with God that you really can’t afford not to. He can help you solve every problem, answer your every question, heal all your heartaches, comfort you when you’re sorrowful, give you joy, and bring you closer to heaven. The list is endless.
Prayer changes things. It’s one means by which God gives His children what they need or want, as long as it’s good for them and others. “Whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”1Read more
How many times have most parents wanted to buy a toy for their child “just because”? It wasn’t a special occasion or something the child needed or had even asked for—but the parent knew the child would enjoy it and wanted him or her to have it.
I faced such a situation with my 19-month-old son Logan recently. I’m not sure why I had set my heart on getting him a rocking horse. Maybe it was because his favorite video included a scene with children on rocking horses, or maybe it was because every time we went to a nearby toy...Read more
Question: I realize that prayer is important, and I want to use it to connect with God, but it never seems like I have the time. How can I fit it into an already busy day?
Answer: It takes time to communicate with anyone, including God. There’s no way around it. It’s a mistake, though, to think of time spent in prayer as time that could have been better used to get other things done, because if you take time to pray, you’ll be able to get a lot more done than you would otherwise. It’s an investment, but once you...Read more
Variety is the spice of life. This certainly has proven true in my prayer life. Here are a few things that have worked for me at different times.
Prayer list. When I began taking a few minutes every day to pray for others, I simply prayed for whoever came to mind. I soon found, however, that there was almost no end to people and situations that needed divine intervention. To make the most of my prayer time, I needed to get organized, so I started keeping a written list. I don’t have time to pray for every item on my list...Read more
The 19th-century British preacher Charles Spurgeon said something that to me defines the role of a Christian in regard to prayer. “As artists give themselves to their models, and poets to their classical pursuits, so must we addict ourselves to prayer.”
I must admit, though, that at times I have had a hard time maintaining a strong prayer life. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to pray—to the contrary—I just had a hard time sticking to my good intentions. It seemed that whenever I’d try to pray, thoughts would flood my mind and I would quickly find myself embroiled in other...Read more
“Grandma, why do you always pray before you drive?” The question came from my eight-year-old grandson. He and I had been vacationing at the beach with his uncle and cousins, and we were about to start the five-hour drive home in the rain. My two grandsons, who are about the same age and had become inseparable, were traveling with me.Read more
This exercise may seem more practical than spiritual, but it is a key to spiritual health and growth.
If there is a quiet, clutter-free space in your home to which you can retreat for moments of prayer or quiet reflection, or if you live in a moderate climate where you can sit outside in the quiet comfort of nature, you have a head start. The average home today is a hub of activity and noise, so finding a spot to spend a few peaceful minutes is a major challenge. Many people simply resign themselves to that situation, but it takes a...Read more
I know all about you—your gifts, your talents, your strengths. I also know your weaknesses, your idiosyncrasies, and all the funny things about you that make you an individual. I know about the nagging problems that you can’t seem to overcome and all the things about yourself that bother you. I know your heart’s desires and secret longings. There is nothing hidden from Me.Read more