June 21, 2011


Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged at 12:14 am by Tamara

I get a lot of prayer requests.  Between my classmates from Bible school, the hundreds of students I met and/or mentored at NTBI, and missionaries I’ve worked with overseas, it adds up to a lot of prayer letters, facebook prayer requests, and e-mails.  I love getting them, and I’ve committed to always pray through each of their requests when I get them.  It’s a privilege to have someone share what’s going on with them and ask you to take their needs, hopes, and fears to God.  But sometimes, to be completely honest, I don’t want to open the requests because I don’t want to take the time at the moment to pray through them.  I definitely care about them, but sometimes I’m just tired, or distracted, or whatever.

I’ve often heard prayer referred to as “laboring on your knees,” and that’s something I try to remind myself of when I get a prayer request: it’s called labor for a reason.  It takes effort to focus my mind and really think about what I’m asking God to do, or provide, or remind.  But I think that’s part of what makes prayer so exciting: when I force myself to expend mental energy and effort and concentration, I’m literally joining the fight.  Not that I think my mental energy is what accomplishes anything (!)—it is completely God’s work and God’s power.  But He invites me through prayer to be an active participant in His work, and being active takes some energy!

Doing that isn’t even really a big deal, so why does it seem like it?  How can I easily spend hours channel flipping or browsing online, but feel exhausted or like it’s a sacrifice to spend a few minutes focusing intently on a need someone has?

So, when I don’t feel like praying, I remind myself that it’s a labor, a work, and do it anyway!  I am FAR from it, but I would like to be known as a prayer warrior.  I would like people to know that when I say I’ll pray for them, I’ll really pray for them.  I believe that prayer is more valuable than I realize, so I want to use this resource!  And I think the more I pray, the more I’ll get to see how incredible the God I’m praying to is.  Prayer is pretty much guaranteed to teach me more about God, and who wouldn’t want that?  Who wouldn’t want to get to see His glory?

I have so, so far to go, but I want to go.  And what better time to work on it than when I’m spending my days sitting at home holding a baby?



  1. I remember hearing J Piper 20 years ago during a prayer conference say, “Until you learn that life is war, you will not know what prayer is for.” Well, that’s true sometimes, but prayer is most certainly hard work.

  2. Mom said,

    Thank you for reminding me of this.

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