Late November I ended a journal. I love my journals--they let me peer back into my life, and having been a history major, I guess I really like that.
In late April, when I began the journal, I started with an entry on prayer. My goal was to become a more consistent pray-er by the time the journal ended.
Seven months later (eight now), and nothing has changed in that department.
Wow. You don't realize how long your prayer life has been suffering until you look back at a date in a journal.
"As I sat listening I saw plainly that it was true the Lisu church was born in prayer travail, and I decided that I must also employ this weapon of 'all-prayer.' It is so obviously effective and is attainable to any of us. I recieved a life-pattern at that moment for which I have ever been grateful."
--Isobel Kuhn, By Searching
I haven't grown in prayer. But I still believe in the power of God to answer our prayers. The other week I was frustrated and prayed for something to happen that night. It did, and I was blown away at God's answer. And wondered that I don't pray more.
But anyway, something that I HAVE seen in the last 7-8 months is more puzzling, more personal to how God has chosen to work in my life in this/that season.
I have been able to see God working in me apart from me.
I have seen Him work in me, increasing my trust and faith, for example, without any help from me.
Personally, I don't think this is His normative way. I think His normative way is to work in us as we seek Him and spend time with Him.
But graciously, He hasn't led me through a dry spell these last several months where one feels alone and without direction.
Instead He's led me through a winter spell. Where the growth of a seed is working beneath the surface even if the outside looks barren.
And I thank the Lord for His mercy. Because it is nothing that I have done. And that answer to prayer the other week? It was not because I had earned it, because I hadn't. I have been neglectful and self-full. It is wrong. But God has been so gracious to me, and for that I am very grateful.
If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.
2 Timothy 2:13
P.S. You know, if He has been gracious to me in that, then He will be gracious to me in other areas of my life that I can see. And usually I don't think there is anything outside of God's power to do, but today I unearthed one area that I really do think cannot be changed, no matter how much prayer. What then? Pray believing. Because while God may not choose to do a miracle, I have every evidence in the world that He is able. Pray, believing not He will do a miracle, but pray believing for this instance what I believe to be true in every other instance, that my God does amazing, absolutely outside of our power things.