Have you ever noticed the thing you once found odd at one time, comes back around being exposed in a different light? Possibly even becoming a tradition of your own?
My step-dad, who also happened to be a preacher, would always carry a small pad of paper and a pen in his shirt pocket. When visiting with him and my Mother, it seemed his cell phone would occupy most of his time. I could only hear his side of the conversations, but noticed he would immediately get out his paper and pen without delay, to begin taking his notes.
I wasn’t a Christian during this time, but I took notice in his urgency to get as many details down on that paper as he possibly could. This was always done with such display and concern with each call.
I really didn’t know much about praying, when I turned my life over to God. Sure, I was shown at a very young age how we close our eyes, bow our heads and fold our little hands when talking with God. I also knew with just about anything, one could observe and learn rather easily by watching someone else.
But, I wondered what the proper way was – If there was a right or wrong way?
My girlfriend and I used to meet up for lunch when time allowed. I’ve always treasured her Christian friendship. She always without any delay, puts others before herself and has such a kind and gentle spirit about her.
On our outings we would sit and talk about our stresses of the day, cover some family small talk, then it so seemed the focus would always shift into deep and meaningful conversations about God. We would discuss all the ways He had been showing up in our day to day lives and in such baffling ways but yet, always at the perfect time.
I suppose you could say we always saved the best for last at our conversations end.
We were sitting at the restaurant on this particular day, and when our food arrived she reached out and took my hand. As we prepared to say grace, she looked up and invited me to ask the blessing. Never will I forget the overflow of emotion that came over me. I was eagerly excited, but at the same time, I thought, “What if I don’t do this the right way? What if the prayer isn’t long enough? and what if….
I was plainly having a severe case of the what if’s that surpassed all levels of the guts I knew I had. I pulled myself together, sat up nice and tall and before I even realized it, I answered, “Sure, I can do it!”
Turns out, I passed the prayer test, not that there was a test to begin with, but I was very concerned.
Nevertheless, I am so very thankful for friends that put me to the test, because it provides an opportunity to learn and be taught something new.
The next time we had a lunch date, take a guess who wanted to lead in saying the prayer?
Shortly thereafter I discovered a very important truth. There was certainly no right or wrong way to praying. It could be simply paying attention to and having a conversation with God.
I will never forget the first few months when God was transforming my old ways into new ones. However, one thing in particular that will always stand out and be noteworthy is the unexpected curve ball and how fast it was thrown to me.
Well, I caught it alright! Plus, it was even personalized with my name on it, addressed
To: Jennifer, From: God – Boom! Just like that, it was placed in my hands.
I started receiving prayer requests by way of a text message or phone call from friends and loved ones.
I was humbled and honored they would choose to share their prayer needs with me.
I remember thinking, “How am I possibly capable of remembering all of these needs that everyone keeps asking me to pray about?”
My mind was instantly taken back to my step-dad Leroy. His notebook and pen that he so suitably carried, came to my remembrance. I recalled those many conversations I would hear from being in the same room with him years before.
I closed my eyes and said, “Thank You God!”
Now this time the torch had been passed to me, I would be the one on the collecting end of that urgent prayer request. I would be the one selected to hear the needs that loved ones were entrusting me with.
Ever so clearly God was calling me to be a prayer warrior.
What first was thought as being a slight nuisance, was now being revealed as opportunity that God was trusting me with.
I could not wait to go shopping and purchase my first ever prayer notebook. I was able to find one at the local Christian bookstore and on discount. It fit perfectly inside my bag just as Leroy’s fit effortlessly in his front shirt pocket.
At our next lunch date, I was anxious to share the prayer notebook story with my friend. I think it joyed her heart to explain what a true honor it is when we can pray for one another.
I’m certain God places people and resources that we need in our lives. Through various inspirations, and arrangements, help is out there. It’s a big, big world and God is the all-powerful, all-knowing, creator and ruler of the universe.
– What opportunity is God calling you into?
This blog post is dedicated to the late, Pastor Leroy P. Wilkinson – A faithful man of God, and humble prayer warrior who touched the hearts of so many and boldy prayed for and helped to win many, many souls to our Lord and Savior.