"As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength."
We've had a busy week, getting ready for youth camp next week. But, I've stayed on target with my training. While I haven't been walking at least a mile every day like I've intended to, I've kept up with my half-marathon training. For the last week or so, I've been taking the kids to the track to run. My son plays on the playground and I push my daughter in the jogging stroller. Although the heat is miserable, I've wanted my body to adjust to running in warmer temperatures. Plus, the track gives my knees and ankles a break!
Lately, the subject of God's strength has been brought to my attention on several different occasions. I've heard of His strength in the stories of Joshua, Gideon, and King Hezekiah. It has taken some time, but I've realized that there are many things I attempt, and fail, to do in my own strength. Sometimes I try to run in my own strength and that never goes well. But, there are many other day-to-day things I fail to get past because I don't ask God to help me. Sometimes I think about what it would be like for God to help me. But I never ask! I just keep moving along on my own and failing miserably.
Although I truly do pray on a daily basis, I don't continually pray throughout the day. I think a lot. I rationalize feelings and emotions in my own head. But, I don't take things to the Lord, especially in the heat of the moment.
It hit me that I'm going to have to take some drastic measures if I want to consciously lean on God throughout the day. While I like to think that I'll close my eyes and say a quick prayer to the Lord before I say or do something dumb, it doesn't usually happen that way. I might close my eyes and start to pray, but then my mind wanders and I start to think about all the ways in which I'm right. I never ask God to really help me!
So I made the decision to start getting on my knees when I need to pray. When I pray for my husband and the kids during nap time, I get on my knees. When I start to have negative thoughts or feelings about situations or other people, I get on my knees. When I'm running late and I'm feeling frustrated with the kids because I can't seem to get out of the door, I stop and GET ON MY KNEES. I give God my undivided attention. Even if I'm late getting out the door, it's better than losing my patience with my kids.
I haven't been doing this long, but it hasn't taken long to see that it works. In addition to slowly growing closer to God, my children are able to see that I truly am taking things to the Lord. I want them to know that prayer is the best solution for any problem. I don't want to just tell them that. I want them to see it for themselves in my life! I want them to see that I am not strong on my own. I need the strength of God!
I chose Psalm 138:3 because it speaks such a simple truth. God doesn't want me to just bring Him the "big" things in my life. He wants me to pray about everything. As soon as I pray, He answers me. He encourages me by giving me strength! The strength to change my thinking, to change my reaction, and to change my words. I want to access God's strength in every aspect of my life. It's right there waiting for me, all I have to do is ask.