Since that night when I finally acknowledged Him in surrender, the time I spend praying within any given 24 hour time period has grown proportionally larger by the season. The comfort and strength that I draw from prayer has grown deeper and richer as my reliance upon this conversation with my Lord overtakes my life with greater pervasiveness. Not long ago, I came to a fuller, more beautiful understanding of prayer after a very long time of wonderings, askings, contemplation, and discussions with others.
You see, I have three nephews. They are sons to my sister who has been with the Lord coming on twelve years now. And although I do not live close to them, I have marveled over the years to what degree I have felt and seen the Lord's covering over them. How was this? Why was this? I mean, their mother has not been there to raise them as Christians for quite some time now, and their lives have been largely void of the active teachings of Christ ever since.
We see in movies and hear in stories this other common belief: "I will always be with you," says the dying person. And many left behind cling to this thought, creating a sort of love amulet of their memory. "My (fill in the blank) is watching over me." They attempt to draw strength, hope, comfort, even guidance from this idea that their dear departed remains behind in some form to show them the way. I'm not discounting our shared love for one another which surpasses even death. However, sometimes I feel God plays second fiddle to our loved ones' essence. I know my sister would agree with me in stepping back from so dangerous a mistake. Still, how and why do I see this covering?
The answer I found lay in the nature of God and the power of prayer. My nephews once had a praying mother.
God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Our concept of time is not His. He is not limited or confined by the passage of years as we are. Time simply does not provide boundaries for Him as it does for us.
Prayer is our conversation with Him. In His tenderness, this is the way in which He has provided for us to connect to Him. He instructs us to cry out, to call on Him, to confide our secrets, desires, hopes, cares, and longings. He holds out His hands for us to place it all with Him for safe-keeping. And so, I understood at last. My sister's prayers, her entrusting of her children's lives to our God, they became of an eternal nature because they were placed in the care of an eternal God. Those conversations, our prayers, we think of them as something that is happening in the here and now, but when given over to Jesus they are no longer bound by these temporal holds. Our troubles and concerns are now under the ministrating authority of the One who is I AM. So the whispers on bent knees of a mother were lovingly consecrated as they flew from her heart to His throne, and they did not die when she did.
So I will plow this life on my knees in prayer all the more. Let this be an encouragement to you to do the same. There is power in prayer and now I understand more than ever before: truly, truly, from our lips to God's ears....
Linked to Growing Home, Far Above Rubies, We Are That Family, Ramblings of a Christian Mom, and Simple Lives Thursday