“A battery can not give out what it does not have”, that is a phrase that my pastor frequently uses. We have to recharge ourselves before we can go out to encourage others passionately. For so long in my life I attempted to encourage others through my own limited reserves of energy and power. Then something changed in my life that allowed me to reach out to others like never before, I learned how to use prayer to tap into God’s unlimited energy and strength.
Once upon a time, I did not understand prayer. As I was growing up, I went to church. By that I mean I went in and I came out of a building called a church. I knew the Lord’s prayer. I had learned a few table prayers to say grace. In fact, if I’m completely honest, praying intimidated me. I heard others pray and just assumed it was a talent that I didn’t have. But oh was I wrong.
It turns out that I needed to learn more. Alvin VanderGriend once said, “Prayer is the way we get in touch with God and the way we keep in touch with him.” He also explains that “prayer is the conversational part of the most important love relationship in our lives, our love relationship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Prayer is a conversation with a loving God who desires to hear everything you have to say. As I began to understand that, it occurred to me that I have plenty of practice having conversations. I have them every day with a variety of people. So I began taking steps, seeking out great people of prayer and learning from them. I read books on prayer. Most importantly, I began to pray.
You can talk to God about anything at all! Talk to Him about traffic, about your schedule, about your family or your friends. Tell God about your frustrations, your feelings or your failures. You can even cry to God. Who knew? I may have known in my head, but I did not know in my heart. One of the biggest blessings in my life has been spending time praying and growing my relationship with God. There is joy in prayer. When you begin to pray for those you want to encourage, that joy will multiply. Joy is a lovely fruit produced by prayer.
While I could talk about prayer all day long, it’s probably best just to show you. So today I’m going to close in a prayer for you.
Thank you so much for this day. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to come to you to share all that is on my heart. God, I lift up to you all who read this blog. Thank you so much for each of them. Thank you for bringing them to this time and this place so that I may share what you have blessed me with. Lord, there is joy in giving and I pray that the words I give would lift them up, encouraging them to press on in this day.
Please help each one of them to feel treasured. Help lift them above any circumstances that challenge them. Give them time to rest and recharge. Place people in their lives who will walk along their side so they never have to feel alone or abandoned. Help them to know how much You care for them; show them in ways that are unique to the way You designed them. Remind each of them that they are a priceless masterpiece.
May each person find that every time they give to someone else through an act of kindness, their joy is increased as well. May it instill in them an insatiable drive to passionately encourage and pray to uplift the people in their lives. Lord, at the end of the day, may all the glory go to You.