Do you ever go through seasons where you feel like your life is defined by a certain theme? Me too. Since the beginning of my time here in Zambia, God has continually reminded me that He cares about my every thought, detail and need, and He desires that I speak to Him daily about it. My theme has been: Prayer.
I have found so much peace in being surrounded by people here who are so real and honest with their prayers. It doesn’t matter if it seems little, silly or inadequate to us; our Heavenly Father promises that He hears our prayers. He knows every worry and anxious thought we’re thinking anyways, and He tells all those of us who are weary and heavy burdened to come to Him and He alone will give us rest – so why are we keeping it to ourselves? We need to get into the habit of going to Him for everything.
I wanted to share with you two key moments where God has reminded me that I can go to Him for anything.
Moment #1 Part of my job is to audit monthly reports for each village. I had received a report from one of the villages, went through it, and found that some numbers didn’t match up. I looked at this report over and over again, and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. Both the village director and I were stumped – and we were both starting to get discouraged, and stressed. I can’t even tell you how many times I looked over the reports and here is what was running through my head each time:
You’re the wrong person for this job
They should have picked someone else
You’re never going to figure this out
On Monday morning I woke up early, and prayed that God would help me with that report. He knew where the problem was – couldn’t He please just show me? I went to Him, told Him that I had exhausted all my efforts and asked Him to intervene. I opened the report later that day and guys, no word of a lie, I saw the problem. Just like THAT it was fixed, and I know that it was only because God had helped me.
*Disclaimer: God doesn’t always answer our prayers just “like that”. There are times when He answers them, times when He answers them differently then what we expected/wanted, and times that He answers them in a different time frame that we had hoped. Don’t be discouraged – rest assured that He hears your prayers and is at work in you, even if you don’t feel like things are looking good.
Moment #2 Bible study was supposed to start up again last week, and because of the new school year, class times and breaks had been changed and we weren’t able to meet. To be totally honest, I was relieved. I know it sounds bad for a missionary to not want to lead Bible study – how unspiritual of me – but guys, it’s true. I was consumed with that “I don’t feel like it” attitude. On Tuesday we were going to officially start. We had figured out the time and had arranged for everyone to meet at 11:30. Driving into the village that day I asked that God would help me, change my attitude, and use me to teach the girls. When the girls arrived we did a little review of what we had learned so far, and started reading Esther chapter 8 – how Esther saved the Jews. The fact that Esther was an orphan has come up many times during our study. Many of the girls will continually bring up how Esther had no mother and father, and I really think they find comfort in identifying with her. What was amazing on Tuesday was that it was so clear that the girls understood that God had used Esther, an orphaned girl, to do something so huge. He had great plans for her, and the girls were engaged, asking questions and really really understanding the concept that God has not overlooked them because of their circumstances, but instead that their worth is found in Him alone. I sat in that room, and looked around at the girls and my heart was so overwhelmed. They were getting it. If God could use Esther, He could surely use them – and He has been using them and will continue to. I left Bible study feel so encouraged – it was only God that could change my attitude like that.
Let us all remember that prayer is not a quick fix. Prayer is what we use to build a relationship with God – how will we truly know Him if we never speak to Him, and listen for Him? Prayer is admitting that we cannot do this daily life alone, and we don’t have to. Prayer is knowing that we have a guide and helper that WANTS to hear our concerns – let’s be honest, most of our friends don’t.
Go to Christ first, and everyone else second.