Guest Post :: A Lifetime of Prayer by Victoria Jenkins
Prayer is powerful. The impact it has on the world just can't be estimated. The broken hearts pouring out all over this place. The hearts breaking after years of seemingly unanswered petitioning. The hidden masterpiece each conversation with God is weaving. The visibly miraculous set into motion. Prayer is immeasurable—incomprehensible, yet we're born with an understanding of its implications.
There is hope.
Before we've ever been formally introduced, we begin to voice our desires, repeating them aloud to whatever force compels us to share. Little do we know, it is a great big God hanging on our every word. Oh, how He adores us. And our hearts yearn to tell Him their all.
As a girl, I prayed as if Jesus were my best friend. When the church I attended told me that was irreverent, I did it in secret. We've this innate sense of how very much we need a friend like Jesus. I prayed for my parents to get back together and for God to heal both of my grandmothers. Nightly. I eventually outgrew the family reunion hopes, but I held out until the end when it came to my grands. It never occurred to me it might not work. Honestly, I think I just figured if God could swing it, He would. Childhood theology at its best. But you know what? I knew all I could wrap my little girl mind around at the time, and the Lord laid a groundwork, even then.
As a woman with no working relationship with God, I prayed sporadically, as life demanded it. Out of frustration, or pain, or desperation. I only talked to the Lord when I didn't like what the world was saying. I threw up a praise when crises were diverted or overcome. It was a very situational conversation. Still, I can cite instances where God moved so radically, these come and go prayer sessions changed my love for Him. The Lord planted a garden, even then.
As a practicing, learning more every day, Christian, my prayer life looks a lot more like an open-ended conversation. For once, I'm not doing all the talking. To be fair, God had been the only one doing any listening before I entered into a working relationship with Him. Now we discuss things, instead of my talking in His general direction and never really expecting Him to respond. It still surprises me when God starts the conversation and truth be told, He's had to repeat Himself. A lot. And often. The Lord grows that which He planted, even now.
As a more mature follower of Christ, I pray to experience more of what it means to be fervent in our prayer. Diligent. Driven. To be able to instantly enter into deep communion with my God. I want to learn to step aside and allow the Holy Spirit to pray on my behalf, without hesitation. To begin and end each day in His presence and to not step out of it nearly so often as I do today. Prayer is our heart's cry. Our purest form of expression. It changes us, and everything, even when all seems to remain the same.
Matthew Henry's Commentary On The Whole Bible says this of 1 Thessalonians 5:17's direction to pray without ceasing: “The way to rejoice evermore is to pray without ceasing. We should rejoice more if we prayed more. We should keep up stated times for prayer, and continue instant in prayer. We should pray always, and not faint: pray without weariness, and continue in prayer, till we come to that world where prayer shall be swallowed up in praise. The meaning is not that men should do nothing but pray, but that nothing else we do should hinder prayer in its proper season. Prayer will help forward and not hinder all other lawful business, and every good work.”
And I can't help but say, “Amen.”
Victoria has a passion for Biblical friendship and a love of all things 80s. She also loves to write with coffee nearby and can't get enough of Scripture and the amazing God who penned each word. She and her husband live in North Carolina with their three wonderfully silly children—who prove daily that the apple really doesn't fall far from the tree.