February 25, 2008
By Amy Carroll
“Be joyful always; pray continually...” I Thessalonians5:16-17 (NIV)
There's a woman who works at my local grocery store that just makes my day. She is ALWAYS positive and cheerful. I’m sure it isn't easy working with the public and spending long hours on her feet, so today I asked her for her secret. "My secret for bagging?" she asked in surprise.
"No," I explained. "I want to know your secret for staying so positive." She just gave a big smile and explained that God is her secret. She followed by telling me that she had to be at work at 6:00 am today, so she’d gotten up at 3:30 am to spend time with Him.
Tears filled my eyes as I thought of this precious sister in the Lord rising in the dark to spend time with the Lord so that she could minister to all the people that will pass her at the cash register today. She shares her enthusiasm, energy and smile equally with each customer. She is a beautiful woman, but she doesn't have the advantage of youth that many of her co-workers have. This woman had gotten up in the middle of the night, spent time with Jesus, and worked an 8 hour shift. She said that it isn't always easy. "By the 40th hour of my work-week, I'm very tired," she said. "But He is my secret."
R.A. Torrey once said: "The reason why many fail in battle is because they wait until the hour of battle. The reason why others succeed is because they have gained their victory on their knees long before the battle came...Anticipate your battles; fight them on your knees before temptation comes, and you will always have victory."
Lucia, the checker at the grocery store, is living proof of this quote. She prepares herself with prayer for the battle of each day. She's an ordinary woman just like me, but she has taken the ordinary and made it beautiful beyond measure.
I'm a "doer", and prayer does not come easily for me. I want to start attacking my checklist about the time I open my eyes in the morning. Lucia reminds me, though, of this truth. Prayer isn't preparation for the work. It IS the work. One tool that has helped me tremendously is a prayer journal. Writing out my prayers helps me to focus and not get distracted so easily. It is also a wonderful record when I want to look back and remind myself of what the Lord has done and how He has answered prayer.
Like you, I’ve got several battles that I’m facing. I needed Lucia to remind me today that time with God is invaluable.
Dear Lord, I want to be ready for the challenges of each day. Help me to remember that nothing prepares me like time spent with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Intimacy with God: Your Daily Guide to Prayer by Tara Furman
His Princess, Prayers to my King by Sheri Rose Shepherd
A Busy Woman’s Guide to Prayer by Cheri Fuller
Set a time aside to pray each morning. Make it a “standing appointment” with Jesus before your day starts.
Pray without ceasing. Talk to God all day long. Praise Him, cry out for help or tell Him that you love Him. He is there!
How am I different on the days that I pray?
How does God use prayer to prepare me for the battle?
I Peter 3:12, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (NIV)
Luke 18:1, “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 25 February 2008.