I think often about how I pray. Many of my prayers from the past were more about me telling God what I want to accomplish or how I want him to behave. How foolish of me. How patient must the LORD be?
While I don’t record or journal every prayer I pray, I’m thankful that I have many to reflect upon. They help me to see how the Lord is maturing me. And they expose my need to continue to grow.
The following is a quick observation of two things I asked God for the day before I left for Haiti in 2010.
“The Lord hears when I call to Him.” (Psalms 4:3 NASB)
Prayer for Silas: “…God capture his attention and place Your glory in front of his eyes.” Silas was able to travel with me to Haiti. I had no pretenses of how I wanted God to place His glory in front of Silas. But I know I wanted Silas to see the hand of God as never before. I was not, nor do I want to suggest that I prayed that God would do this in a way that would be easy or pleasant. This was a request with complete trust in the Lord to let us see His glory in what He would do in our midst. I would never, in my flesh, have thought that a short time in a Haitian jail would be the place I had in mind for God to display His glory. I wanted God to arrest our attention and place His glory in front of us. He did, and did He!
Prayer for Renee: “…Help Renee. Provide for her like you did Elijah; supernaturally and refreshingly. Let her rest in You.” I had no idea that my bride would need to rest in the Lord like this… When we returned home and Renee began to tell me how difficult it was to here during those days, I realized that the Lord was prompting me even before we left for hardship. We look back at these days with joy in the Lord. Joy in the Lord does not mean happy in the flesh. Renee can tell this better than I can; the Lord provided protection, shelter, friendship, family, financially, emotionally, and with rest (rest in the Lord.) We were not perfect in all of our trusting in the Lord, but a lot of sanctifying work in the Lord was accomplished.
Don’t let your prayers be unsaid. It has been helpful to have them written down so serious self-reflection and examination can be done. Of all the things I wrote down during that season, it is the prayers that were the most helpful. Writing them down caused me to be more careful and bold in what I spoke to the Lord about. And they cause worship of God when I consider what, how, when, where, who God would use to put His glory in front of us and give confidence to Trust Him. Examine your consciences with respect to what you have done in the day; particularly what you have done amiss, that you may repent of it. When you ask God a question or plead a desire, be serious, be silent, wait for an answer. Rest.
Haiti Journal Audio:
Part One: Leading up to the arrest
Part Two: from arrest to release