The day after my mother went to be with the Lord, my phone rang—it was my pastor.
After a few minutes of conversation, my pastor said, “Kevin, you know that your mom was so proud of you.”
“Yes,” I replied, “And I know I have her to thank for the man I am today. She would always tell me that she prayed for me everyday on the way to work. I don’t know where I would be without her.1 I was incredibly blessed to have a prayer warrior for a mother.”
What my pastor said next turned our simple and sentimental conversation into a moment I’ll never forget: “That’s great Kevin. Now it’s your turn to be the prayer warrior.”
While my prayer life has grown in leaps and bounds the past several years, the words inconsistent and rushed often characterize my prayer life more than rich and joyful. I’ve read many of the best books on prayer, organized my prayer life in the PrayerMate app, have a degree from a world-class seminary, and have seen God work in amazing ways through efforts in prayer. But none of that matters…if I don’t pray.
Maybe you’re like me and constantly battle to pray like you should. (I think that describes many “Bible people” like me.) But I resolve, after seeing the example of my mother and receiving that charge from my pastor, to pick up the prayer baton and continually strive forward in devotion and faithfulness.
For me, this means not getting down on myself when I think I’ve failed as a pray-er. I need to remember that I am accepted by God, and, flowing from that acceptance, seek to do my very best in prayer, knowing that my acceptance is based on Christ’s finished work, not the state of my prayer life.
Striving forward in prayer also means having a realistic view of prayer. It is easy for me to think down on myself if I don’t spend two hours everyday in heart-moving, heaven-shaking prayer. I need to remember that small prayers not only “count” in God’s eyes, but also add up and bear fruit.
Striving also means I need to block of time in my schedule, sometimes entire days or portions of the day for prayer; not just presenting petitions and intercessions, but also to recalibrate my relationship with God. I am so thankful for the example of Leadership Resources, the missions organization I serve with. The first Wednesday of every year is an all-organization day of prayer.2 I cannot tell you how many prayers I have seen answered in amazing ways through our faithfulness in prayer—prayer either at our annual day of prayer or our time in prayer at the beginning of each workday. As missionaries training pastors to clearly and faithfully teach the Scriptures, we face plenty of spiritual obstacles (not to mention warfare) and we can’t afford not to pray!
Blog reader, as I take the baton from a prayer warrior like my mother and seek to be more devoted and faithful in prayer, I have two things to ask of you:
- Please pray for me.
- Join me in my journey.
1 Whenever I drive a portion of the route she took to work, I think about her faithfulness in prayer on my behalf.
2 It also happens to be the same day as Bill Mills’ famous fish fry 🙂 .