There are numerous individuals in our lives that we are beyond thankful for. One's name is Leonard. The following was written by him for Life in the Moments and just one example of why we are so grateful for his life.... and ministry in the moments.
I have about 7 different conversations with my wife. They have many different forms but boiled down; they amount to about 7 or 8. I love them, I am not bored with them, and in fact they are what consistently keep us on the same page with joy and partnership. These conversations mean so much to us, our marriage and family that we take time to sit nearly every day to have these conversations, we make time to call and have these conversations and we stop other things in our lives to have these 7-8 different conversations. I liken this a bit to my prayer life.
In the midst of hiring staff, letting staff go, setting goals for the church, managing a church, providing for a family, caring for my friends and well you know all the other kinds of activities we do I was reminded by my Father in heaven not to trade praying a lot for a prayer life. I was immediately encouraged and challenged in my spirit.
You see, I try to have a prayer life. You know about 7 or 8things I stop my life to talk with God about. These are people and things that I could never stop praying about because they are in the center of everything I do and am. What happens to me is I get so busy that instead of forging the time to have this repeated but necessary conversation with God, I just end up just praying a lot. I trade a prayer life for just praying a lot. Sure I pray as I am driving, showering, eating, sitting, waiting, studying, getting ready for bed, getting ready to get up and I end up with about 99 conversations with God. This makes for little depth for me and while I am praying a lot, it does not make a prayer life.
Here is my habit for the past 20 years or so. I have a list. It is a physical list that sits on my desk or in my bible or on my computer. On this list is my wife, my kids, my extended family, my church, your churches, the church in the world, the lost and myself. These 8 things are the only thing that ever make my prayer list. In other words, these are my repeated 8 conversations with God. I try to pray for those things every day in a time of just sitting before my heavenly Father. I will add some listening time, praise time and confession time (sometimes I need a lot of this, especially on days that end with y). I then use my driving, sitting, waiting etc. for the other 99 things I need to have a conversation with God about. This is when I pray for the sick, for the overwhelming number of requests that come into my life, for jobs for people in my church…
When I pray a lot God answers prayer and his work is done. When I have a prayer life, I am changed and know my Father in heaven. As you head into a busy summer that was preceded by a busy spring and will be followed by a busy fall, can I encourage you with the same encouragement I received from my Father in Heaven, don’t trade praying a lot for a prayer life.
1 day ago