I've been listening to a lot of the old classic hymns on Spotify lately. While I love modern worship music, sometimes I feel like there's really no substitute for these old hymns that have stood the test of time. One I've been listening to every day lately is Praise to the Lord, the Almighty. There's a verse in that song that says this: "Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee. Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee. Ponder anew what the Almighty can do, if with His love He befriend thee." Think about those beautiful words for a moment. The Lord prospers our work and defends us. And ponder anew what our Almighty God can do if He befriends us with His love. I'm pondering it right now, and it overwhelms my heart, in a good way. We serve an Almighty God who is willing to befriend us and to work on our behalf, and there are few things that are better than that amazing truth.
God truly can do above and beyond all that we could ever ask or hope. He truly can, and I am asking Him to do just that in my life, and in yours, this year. This is why I'm not willing to settle anymore, folks, in any area of my life. I'm not willing to settle because I serve a God who can do immeasurably more than all I could ever ask or think. I read this amazing quote the other day and I'm quite certain the author didn't mean to apply it to prayer, but it relates just the same: "Sometimes the only difference between wanting something and having it is asking for it." Now, of course it's not the point of prayer to get whatever we want just by asking God for it. And there can be a lot of reasons why God doesn't give us things that we believe we want or need. But I think there's a very good underlying concept here, and it's that we need to be willing to ASK. ASK God to do more and greater things in your life. ASK God to spark a revival in your home, your church, your city, your world. Ask Him to show His power and goodness in your life in brand-new ways, ways you've never even thought of before. Ask Him to do the work He does best: redeeming your brokenness, healing your scars, transforming your deepest wounds into your most powerful ministry, bringing your life up from the pit and crowning you with love and compassion. Ask Him to give you greater territory to take over for Him, greater spheres of influence in your job, your school, and your community. We need to start asking. There are some things that aren't going to start happening until we start asking, and we may not even know what we're missing out on by not asking. And I refuse to be someone who does not have because she does not ask.
I want to embark on a journey of deeper and more heartfelt prayer this year, and I invite you to join me in this. I want to become, more and more deeply, a woman who ASKS. Who asks for revival, who asks for healing, who asks for transformation, who asks for miracles, power, blessing, and favor from our Almighty God, who, even though it blows my mind, wants to befriend me and to prosper my work and defend me. I don't even know exactly what all that looks like right now, but I am determined to exert myself in prayer until I find out. I'm committed to praying until I find new strength, until I find my deepest hope and peace in the Lord alone, until I find the life purpose the Lord has created me for, until I tap into that deeper well of spiritual authority through which Christ said that whoever believed would do "even greater things than these." I'm totally talking to myself right now and not my readers, but maybe we need to start spending less time on Facebook and more time with our Almighty God. Maybe we need to start straining in prayer just as much as we strain to complete every last item on our to-do list. Maybe we need to start being willing to get up earlier and quit hitting the snooze button so we can immerse our day in prayer from the beginning. Ponder what could happen: the chain reactions that could begin, the revivals, the blessings. Don't leave a blessing unclaimed because you didn't ask for it. I'm just not willing to do that anymore. I want this to be the year of prayer.
Readers, here are some specific things I am praying for in my life right now, and I invite you to join me if you feel so led:
1) I am graduating in just 3 months, and I desperately want to graduate having made a lasting positive impact on my law school for Christ. I want the lives of many students and others to be substantially better, richer, and more in tune with God because I was there and because they knew me. I want to leave a powerful legacy for Christ, and I am praying that I would be able to leave such a legacy on my school and my community.
2) This year, I want to do more with my writing. I want to actively use my blog and other writings to introduce more people to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. I want my writing to become better known and more widely disseminated, but I need wisdom for how best to do this because, as a soon-to-be attorney, I'm unwilling to do non-legal writing under my own name because I have to be very careful what employers and colleagues can find out about me online. But at any rate, I believe that God wants me to use my writing to positively impact others, and I believe that in a very real way, I have a calling to write--and I want to follow that calling. I just need to know how and when and in what way.
3) I want to pursue the job and career that God has planned for me. This is yet another area of my life where I don't want to settle for less than His best. I've settled in the job arena before, and I'm not willing to do it again. I am praying that God would prepare the right job for me and lead me directly to that job, and that the process of finding it, this time, could be substantially less stressful than it has been in the past. And I'm praying that when I find THE JOB, I'll know it and know that it is right for me. And I want to have an amazing testimony of how God graciously led me to the right position and opened the doors for me to receive it.
So those are a few things I'm praying for right now, and I want to ponder what God will do as He defends, protects, and befriends me.