An autumn day road trip…
…sharing our 29th anniversary with our son and daughter-in-law
…sipping maple infused cream atop hot chocolate
…slicing through the fluffiest frittata ever
…savoring the sugary goodness of maple butter on warm homemade biscuits
…aroma of maple baked beans
…scent of sweet pine fills my being
…hiking through freshly fallen leaves still damp from yesterday’s rain
…gingerly side-stepping partially covered roots on a rustic wooded trail
…finding a fine walking stick the size of Moses’ rod
…steadied by my son’s arm as we descend a hilly path
…awestruck at the stunning beauty created by God’s paintbrush on low mountains
…imagining a tea party aboard a vintage train car or sleeping in a renovated caboose
…warming our insides with Chinese tea and maple-flavoured shortbreads
…strolling through a tree-lined park bursting with fall colour…
I LOVE autumn!! This year the leaves have been particularly vibrant and the warmer weather is prolonging the season. Every turn in the road yields an even better vista than the last. I find myself continually praising God for such an array of splendor. I begin singing,
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing praise to the King of kings
You are my everything and I will adore You[i]
Praise is but one form of raising our voice and spirit in prayer to our Heavenly Father.
“To linger in His presence, to shut out the noise of the city and, in quietness, give Him the praise He deserves.”[ii]
Recently we hosted a prayer morning during our women’s group. We were asked, “What does prayer mean to you?” As I’ve reflected on this, I realize prayer is such an integral part of my life that I cannot imagine doing life without it. For me, it is a very personal way to commune with God about anything, anytime, anywhere. I pray while I’m driving, when I’m in a checkout line, just before bed, and while I’m out walking. Prayer makes my most disliked chore of ironing more purposeful. I pray in the shower and while doing dishes. I believe this is what the apostle Paul meant when he said,
“Pray without ceasing.” (ESV) “Never stop praying.” (NLT) “Pray at all times.” (GNT) “Pray constantly.” (HCSB) “Pray continually.” (NIV)
Over the past few years I have been more self-disciplined about making my prayer life more continuous during my daily activities. It is an amazing privilege to come before God with praise and concerns and be assured He is listening and available to answer.
An area of prayer where I need to exercise more self-discipline is intercession. This type of prayer is “the act of interceding or offering petitionary prayer to God on behalf of others.”[iii] It requires me to be more deliberate and actually plan time to bring the needs of others before the Lord.
Philip Yancey says, “When I pray for another person, I am praying for God to open my eyes so that I can see that person as God does, and then enter into the stream of love that God already directs toward that person.”[iv]
One woman shared at our prayer day that she has a bulletin board in her room where she posts people’s prayer requests. Another idea is using Post-it® notes on places you frequently visit such as the fridge or mirror.
My project this week? Find a meaningful way to remember those who need me to pray for them and then be more consistent in intercessory prayer.
Until next time,