Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I Come From A Praying People

With the exception of a melting little snowman standing guard in our front yard, things seem to be back to normal around here.  You know....our Engineer and I completed another day of 10th grade, snow is piled outside our door, temperatures are in the brisk mid 30s range...yep...Spring time in the Midwest. 

But, thankfully the sun was shining all day.  It warmed us up a bit and warmed our hearts as well.  How could we not have a happy day?  I do love the sunshine!

This afternoon, I settled into the Hug Chair to read a bit in a different book.  I checked off my March Quest for the day by reading the first several chapters in Prayer Walk.

I'm still reading my other book as well, but today I wanted to read a little in this book to see if I could add some prayer to my exercising time. 

As you know, I am training to run my first 5K in April, and I try to walk or run every day.  I also happen to have a list of people and needs that I try to pray over daily. 

I may have mentioned a time or two that I don't really enjoy exercising.  It's a sad, but true statement.  I think the biggest reason is that I get really bored with it.  I hate to even admit that because it's sounds like such a First World Problem, doesn't it?  Again...sad, but true statement. 

I'm always on the lookout for something to read, listen to, or watch while I walk or run on the treadmill.  Rediscovering a few of my prayer books made me realize that praying while I'm exercising might be the best "entertainment" I could find. 

Although I'm just a few chapters into the book, I am already enjoying it and thinking of ways I can make this work in my own life.

Prayer is really important to me.  It's one of the best ways for us to communicate with God...and by now you know how much I enjoy communicating.  Seriously...I can talk to God as much as I want and for as long as I need?  Now that I think about it, prayer seems to be tailor-made for me. 

I didn't always see it that way.  For many of my early years, prayer was something Mom and Aunt Prayer Warrior did.  I knew they were always praying because they talked about it.  They told me they were praying for me.  And I had no doubt that they were.  They both continue to be people in my life that I know without a doubt are praying, not just for me, but for many many others as well. 

Step into Mom's kitchen at any given time and you might find scraps of paper listed with names, dates, times, or concerns.  You might find a prayer list on the window ledge over the kitchen sink.

If you stop by Mom and Dad's house, you are most likely to find Mom tending her beautiful blossoms in her flower garden, gathering the fruit of her labors in her vegetable garden, or standing at her kitchen sink - washing dishes while something that smells delicious is baking in the oven. 

There's a good chance when you find Mom in her flower garden, or in her vegetable garden, or in her kitchen at the sink looking out the window over the family farmland, she is praying.  She is praying for family, friends, and even strangers.  She is praying for the people, places, times, dates, or worries on those scraps of paper.  She is praying for things she has heard on the news.  She is praying for leaders, churches, and neighbors.  This I know about Mom...she prays.

Her sister, Aunt Prayer Warrior is well known in our family to be someone who will pray for you.  If she tells you she will pray, you know that she will.  A couple months ago, we stopped by Aunt Prayer Warrior's restaurant and we spotted her bundled up walking briskly outside.  It is my understanding that she prays as she takes her walks.  It did not surprise me at all to learn this, because I know she is a praying woman. 

Mom and Aunt Prayer Warrior are wonderful examples of faithful women of prayer in my family.  They learned at a very young age from the teaching and examples of their parents: Grandpa Pastor and Grandma Gem.  Both of them faithfully prayed over their family every day. 

A vivid memory of my childhood comes from the treat of getting to stay the night at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  Grandma always made a big sit-down breakfast.  We would gather around the table; Grandpa's well-read Bible would be sitting next to his plate.  He would pick it up and read God's Word to us and then pray a heartfelt blessing over us, our day, and our breakfast.

To this day that special memory touches me deeply.  Grandpa and Grandma faithfully prayed every day and even as a tiny child I knew that was something special and important in my life.

Grandpa Pastor and Grandma Gem have gone on to their Heavenly Reward, but prayer continues in our family.  Not only do Mom and Aunt Prayer Warrior pray for our family, but I also know that Dad gets up early each morning and spends time in prayer as well.  What a blessing to know this!

I do not come from a family of great monetary wealth that I will one day inherit.  Instead, along with my siblings and cousins, I have been given something much more valuable.  We have had family that have prayed for us, with us, and over us.  They have passed this blessing on to us, and now we not only pray for each other, but for all kinds of people and prayer needs. 

We do this because we have faith that God hears our prayers.  We do this because we know that there is power in prayer.  We do this because our parents, grandparents, and even our great grandparents humbly knelt in prayer, leaving a legacy of a praying people.  We are not perfect people...but we are a praying people.

I come from these praying people.  I am a part of these praying people.  Handing this legacy down to the next generation, I pray for and with my own children.  They are part of these praying people too.

Thinking on all of this today, I decided I would try to combine my prayer time with my exercise time.  I hope to be more faithful and spend more time doing what my people do...pray.

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