I don’t know if I remember the first time I actually prayed, but I do remember the first time I remember. We were living in the “low-income” part of town. When we first moved in we had no furniture in the living room, maybe some bologna in the fridge and I don’t recall if we ever had a dining room table and chairs. We did have beds and dressers, though, and that’s where I remember it for the first time. I was in my room trying to either open or close a drawer that was stuck (I was in elementary school…not sure the grade), and it wasn’t budging. For whatever reason, the fact that the drawer wouldn’t work in my favor both scared and angered me; so, I remember asking God to help me…with my drawer. I hadn’t been taught to pray, that I could remember. I know I had seen people pray and heard them pray, but I didn’t grow up being prayed with or prayed around. Yet, when I felt desperate, prayer was what came, like an instinct of survival.
The second time I remember praying was the night I became His and He became mine. That night was full of all the things this world tries to recreate in their telling of love stories, just better! Smiles, cartwheels, sweet tears, the excitement with butterflies that my life was going to count and that I was loved. I had been told “I love you” by my family, and while I absolutely know I was and am loved by them, I really encountered the fullness of that love that night, sitting beside a girl who didn’t know me but would share with me the greatest gift…ever!
Since then I have prayed many a prayer. Some of my prayers have been as simple and trivial as the drawer-prayer and others have been down on the ground, body heaving, tears pouring cries to God. And my God, He has never been put off by the simplicity or the complexity of either. It wasn’t so much the words He was after or the posture in which I gave them; He was just longing to have a heart-to-heart. To have communion with His girl.
Now, this doesn’t mean He didn’t have powerful answers in store and this certainly doesn’t mean His answers catered to my blind-sided requests. What this does mean is that no matter the request, He gave me His undivided attention and He never once did nothing! He may have answered me as I asked (like He did with the drawer), He may have answered me above and beyond all I could ask or imagine (like He did the night I gave Him my heart), and He may have answered me in a way that I just didn’t understand (like the many requests I put at His feet during my childhood), but He always answered.
And that, that is what a band of brothers and sisters all across this nation, on May 1, are counting on – that He. will. answer! We will be praying for things as simple as boys’ and girls’ pets that they hope will start to behave (love children’s prayers!) to family’s that need His healing and hope to community leaders who need to know they are supported and upheld by those voices they uphold everyday to national leaders who, agreed with or not, are given in agreement by two or more (oh, so many more) witnesses to the God Who placed them in the position they are in. We won’t be praying for our will be done or for our comfort or ease; we won’t be praying to a lifeless figure that we hope will like us that day. We will be praying “His Kingdom come, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven” right here, right now! We will be seeking forgiveness and walking in repentance as the God Who first loved us hears every word whispered, spoken, and sang, and we will know that He will answer!
14 if My people who are called by My name put away their pride and pray, and look for My face, and turn from their sinful ways, then I will hear from heaven. I will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open. And My ears will hear the prayer that is made in this place. 16 For I have chosen this house and have made it holy, that My name may be there forever. My eyes and My heart will always be there. 2 Chronicles 7 NLT