O Lord of Grace
I have been hasty and short in private prayer,
O quicken my conscience to feel this folly,
to bewail this ingratitude;
My first sin of the day leads into others,
and it is just that Thou shouldst withdraw Thy presence
from one who waited care.less.ly on Thee.
Prayer time this morning was convicting. I awoke and instead of remaining still and beginning my day with prayers, I did other “things”. It is Thursday and I prayer bike on Thursday so I think, “I am praying anyway later, so I do not have to awaken to prayer (even though the Lord has convicted me to do so).” I arise and stumble down to the breakfast nook for physical and spiritual feeding. I open The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. There I read the words I typed above.
I returned to my room to get ready to go on my prayer bike and on my computer there is a prayer request from a dear friend on my e-mail. God has convicted me and here is a prayer request. How opportune that this would arrive just when He is teaching me about prayer! This is so God: meeting my need and my friend’s need simultaneously. I’m not going to treat this care.less.ly. This request and every request is a sacred trust given to me to invoke the power of God into a situation. I e-mail the person that I have her request with me and that “I am on it.” Off I go on my bike. Well. let me tell you, I prayed up a storm on my 15-mile ride this morning. I prayed for everyone concerned with this issue, I prayed for my children’s issues, I prayed for my friends and for my work. I prayed for “man and woman on the street” whom I passed by and for the Christian Arab Conference where my friend Ann is leading the youth ministry for and for the Willow Creek Leadership Conference my son will attend and for the United Methodist School of Christian Mission that me and my grand-daughters will attend in a week and for Parish Nursing and for anything and everything.
When I got home from my prayer biking I had an e-mail from the person who made the prayer request:
I am moved to tears at the comfort your reply brought to me. You are such a blessing and an encouragement. P.S. I LOVE the phrase “I’m on it!”
You know, speaking to God first thing is so very important. The prayer says if we don’t “This first sin of the day leads into others.” Whoa! Not praying is sin. Not praying is ingratitude. Not praying is God withdrawing His presence. Not praying is folly!
May the Lord keep us “on it”,