We held our 5th Annual Send a Kid to Camp Golf Tournament last week. I felt God calling me to put some extra effort into praying for our tournament. So for about two months I circled our tournament in prayer, trusting that God would do something miraculous.
I don’t know if I saw God do any miracles but I did learn a lot about my prayer life.
I’ve always thought about perseverance in terms of responding to trials and difficult seasons. Even James tells us that persevering through trials produces maturity in our lives. As I committed two months to praying for the same thing, I realized that prayer takes a lot of perseverance. I was really excited when I began my prayer effort but that excitement waned and I really needed to persevere. In all honesty, some days I persevered better than others. I learned a lot, though, as I watched my excitement fade. Excitement isn’t enough to persevere through prayer; it takes intention and effort.
I really enjoyed having something on which to focus while praying. I often get distracted while praying so having a focus was great for me. It’s difficult for me just to sit and have a conversation with God. I’m trying to work on it but I’ve realized I do need that focus. This experience has led me to start using The Divine Hours but Phyllis Tickle. The book is very similar to the Book of Common Prayer and has prayers for morning, noon and night. Having the book helps to focus my prayers as I pray through different Psalms, passages of scripture and the prayers of others.
We didn’t achieve everything I prayed about. I don’t know if that’s because of my lack of perseverance in praying or something else. I do know, though, that God is still good and completely worthy of my trust. I know seeing prayers answered can grow my trust in God but I definitely don’t want unanswered prayers to hurt my trust in God. We can never know why God does what he does and why he doesn’t do what he doesn’t do. I know that I could have persevered more in prayer. Prayer has its fullest power when we do all that we can do and trust that God will do all that he can do.
The golf tournament was fun and praying for it was a learning experience. I know God was glorified through our golf tournament. I know he received no glory from my golf game that day.
What are some lessons you’ve learned about prayer?