Prayer is what has kept me alive.
It had nothing to do with the IVs of drugs, the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel or the optimism often present in my precious mother. Though all those were God-given things, they didn’t keep me alive. Prayer did.
I have countless memories of moments where praying helped my seizure-filled brain clear enough to see Jesus. I have memories of nurses tellling me my private hospital room felt different, all the while holding stacks upon stacks of emails boasting one thing in common: Prayer.
Let me be clear.. it wasn’t the action of prayer — the liturgical “Dear Jesus ___________, amen” as it were, that kept my heart beating and my brain cognitively stable. It was the understanding that prayer connected my situation to the One True Holy God. When my body screamed in pain, prayer interceded for my life, my heart and my Spirit in ways I’ll never begin to comprehend.
Currently, I’m enrolled in a Principles of Prayer class at Grace College. Within this class, it is our goal to understand the power and privilege of prayer in a Christian’s life; of which I am one. You can’t really put a grade on that study. Within this course I’m astounded at what things I have forgotten (ignored?) about prayer since my body found a base-line of health.
I won’t lie– it’s probably one of the most embarassing things about my life thus far.
As I was praying for a friend this evening, I was reminded of how precious prayer was to my young heart while I laid in a hospital bed. What changed? Why is prayer seen as more of a duty than a joyful, intimate, scandalous moment with my Lord and Savior?
I came to the conclusion that only one thing has changed. I’ve forgotten to ask and expect big things to occur in and because of my prayer life. I’ve started to treat prayer as a dutiful expectation rather than a response of adoration… Therefore, I expect less of God.
Pondering that this evening, I heard God whisper one, simple yet powerful thing to my heart:
I’m still big enough to be The Ultimately Supreme God. Act like it when you pray.