December 3, 2009
365 Days of Prayer
"He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured." Colossians 4:12b (NIV)
It will never be topped; that I know for sure. Inconspicuously wrapped in a handwritten envelope sealed with love was my most memorable Christmas present ever. In all of my 42 Christmases, I had never received such a treasure as I did last year. It was a gift that provided comfort, peace and joy for 365 days. And as 2009 comes to a close, I woefully watch my special gift coming to an end.
I attended a white elephant gift exchange with the Proverbs 31 Ministries' office staff last December. As I opened the gift I had chosen from Melissa Taylor, I read my card out loud: "Last night as I was wrapping your gift, God put an idea in my heart and I wholeheartedly agreed with Him. If you are the recipient of this gift, not only are you holding a new ornament, but also a promise from me. It will be my privilege and honor to pray for you every day in 2009. On your good days and bad days, you can rest assured that you are being prayed for by name by me. I love you. Merry Christmas."
Tears threatened to spill down my cheeks as I silently got up and hugged my friend. Her written words were an immediate healing balm to my soul. My mouth could not produce the thoughts I was longing to say aloud. I calmly folded my sweet letter and replaced it neatly in the envelope. And smiled.
Someone would be praying for me every day! Without fail. What a gift.
This was something I had never been promised before. Sure, friends will tell me that they will pray for me when I voice a struggle to them. Or someone will call me and tell me that I came to mind that day and they prayed for me. And still others will mention that I am in their prayers. But to have the comfort of a loyal daily prayer warrior was beyond my realm of thinking.
I suddenly felt inspired that day.
I felt encouraged, confident, and optimistic.
But mostly, I felt loved.
You see, I know the power of prayer. I have experienced healing, growth, miracles and peace through personal prayer, prayer with my family and corporate prayer. I have humbly come to a place where I recognize that I must completely depend on Him daily, and it all begins with prayer.
A prayer filled life is not necessarily a belief that God will do exactly what we ask for, but a trust that He will hear our desires and know what's best for us. A trust that He will lead, guide and direct us as we seek His will. I wholeheartedly rely on this assurance.
I went home from our party that day with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for my yearlong gift of prayer. In turn, I committed to also pray for Melissa each day. What a challenging year this has been for her personally - she has needed my daily prayers.
As I think of her with a humble and thankful heart, I can't help but recall the beautiful words in 1 Corinthians 1:4, "I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus." Thank you for praying for me Melissa. What a comfort. What a commitment. What a rare gift indeed!
Dear Lord, thank You for friends who love us with Your love. Thank You for faithfully listening to our requests and responding as You see fit. We trust You and love You and honor Your Holy name. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Visit Lysa TerKeurst's blog to post a prayer request for Holly and Lysa so they can pray for you during their early morning run this week.
Visit Melissa Taylor's blog to find out what inspired her unique Christmas gift.
Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst
What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst
Read Matthew 6:9-13. Jesus gave this prayer to His disciples as a model for them. How can you use this prayer, often referred to as the Lord's Prayer, as a model for your daily prayers?
As you spend time with friends and family, look for opportunities to ask, "How can I pray for you?'
Look intentionally for others you come across today that you can ask, "How can I pray for you today?"
Journal your requests and look for God to do a great work.
Psalm 5:3, "In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." (NIV)
Psalm 145:18, "The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth." (NIV)
Romans 8:26, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." (NIV)
© 2009 by Holly Good. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 03 December 2009.