Prayer, Plain and Simple

As soon as I pray, you answer me;
you encourage me by giving me strength.    ~Psalm 138:3

My friend likes to remind me that I might be just one prayer away from my miracle. I like that. And the Psalmist agrees. God isn’t too busy or distracted, he’s not asleep, he’s not involved in some other commitment, and he’s not aloof. He’s attentive to our prayers and answers immediately. That doesn’t mean our prayer is granted instantaneously; he’s not the Great and Powerful Genie who exists to grant my every wish. (He wouldn’t be loving if he were! What a mess we would make of the universe.) But he IS intimately involved in my life and wants to teach me and train me to walk with him hand in hand throughout my days and  to become more and more like him, full of grace, truth, and love.

So when I pray, I can count on his encouragement and his strength to get me through anything. The Lord told Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you.” And it is for you and me as well. His grace and encouragement can strengthen us to withstand anything we are facing today: financial trouble, relational strain, pain, illness, or fear. Let’s pray and receive his encouragement. There is no one on the earth who can’t use a little – or a lot – of that!

My Father,

The instant I breathe a prayer to you, you are listening. And as I pray I know you are building me up, sustaining me through hardships, helping me to rise above the troubled waters and walk on them as I keep my focus on your lovely face and your strong arms and on the compassion in your eyes. I receive your grace today. I lift my hands like a great funnel and receive your encouragement as you pour it on, grace upon grace. And with that, I take on this day unafraid for I am not alone.


“…The love of God hath been shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit…” Romans 5:5

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