Growing up, I never truly understood Memorial Day. My hometown of Holland, Michigan, would host a parade every year. Being part of a high school marching band, I was required to march every year in it—starting downtown, marching through the city, and ending at the cemetery. My band director always had one big rule: when we neared the cemetery, we were to stop playing our instruments.
This is an adapted excerpt from Take Heart: God's Comfort for Anxious Thoughts by Lindsay Hausch.
A daily rhythm of time in God’s Word and in prayer is a way to abide in God. As we do these things, He rearranges our hearts and aligns them with His. This is a way to soften and prepare for the storms that test our hearts and our faith. For me, there are days when this happens over coffee at the breakfast table with kids chomping down their bananas, chatting and clambering for my attention. Sometimes, this is all that my season of life can accommodate, and so I take what I can get. I’ve learned that waiting for the “best” time for daily devotions means they don’t happen.
About a week ago, I got a text from my pastor asking if he could pray for me. Life has been especially stressful on me the past two months, so his offer was exactly what I needed, even if he hadn’t known why.
As a Christian, I do of course encourage prayer, and I believe in the power of prayer. But if I’m being honest with myself, I struggle with prayer. I have difficulties committing to daily prayer. I struggle to understand if my prayers are reaching God and seeing that silence is still an answer. Over the past few months, I’ve been more conscious about listening to where God is pulling me, as I need His guidance most right now, and it seems He’s trying to get the concept of prayer to me in any way I’ll listen.
In college, I used to (only semi-jokingly) ask God to send me a tall, blonde, Jesus-loving, soccer-playing, European boyfriend.
A few weeks ago, I married a tall, blonde pastor who played collegiate soccer and grew up in Germany.
Y’all, God definitely has a sense of humor.
Your answered prayer is likely different than mine—a cured illness, a new job, a successful pregnancy. But no matter the magnitude or minuteness of your prayer, God still answered it!
I am far from an expert on prayer.
I’m not the person to go to for tips on how to be consistent in prayer.
I can remind you of the assurance we have in prayer because of Christ.
The prayer we now call the “Lord’s Prayer” did not originate from a monk or a mother. It was given to us by Jesus, our Lord. He tells us to pray to our Father with simple words. Jesus ensures us that the Father knows what we need before we ask (Matthew 6:5–8).
This Memorial Day will, for many of us, look a lot different this year. We likely won’t have huge family cookouts, watch any parades, or visit any cemeteries to remember loved ones. But that doesn’t mean we can’t remember the true meaning of Memorial Day, in addition to maybe a few extra remembrances.
Lately, a specific Bible passage has been popping up frequently for me. A note from a college friend, a post in a Facebook group, and a random opening of my Bible have all brought my attention to Psalm 91. I’ll be honest, the first couple of times I noticed people referencing it, I ignored it. I thought I’d look at it later; after all, there was too much to worry about for me to open my Bible. (Isn’t that always the excuse?)
But last night, I couldn’t sleep. I was tossing and turning and just wide awake. I finally decided that I had the time to read my Bible. And I knew exactly where I should turn to: Psalm 91.
Holy Week is traditionally a solemn time (until Easter, that is!) when Christians around the world meditate on the betrayal, death, and burial of our Lord Jesus.
Times of turmoil can leave us shaken. We are reminded that we are not the ones in control. It teaches us that no day is guaranteed. But we can feel comforted knowing that Jesus is still on the throne. During this unprecedented time of canceled plans and, if we’re being honest with ourselves, panic around the world, spending time in prayer is very necessary.
The number one comment I hear from people about prayer is this: “If only I could pray like that.”
I think we often see the prayers we pray in church or that pour from our pastor’s mouth as “fancy” prayers. I admire lovely words, so on the one hand, I really appreciate prayers that use lovely words in such a way that they sound fancy, holy, and absolutely worthy of a God who is just that—very worthy. Fancy, prewritten prayers definitely have benefits. They keep us on a straight path so that we don’t end up saying something that contradicts God’s Word because we haven’t given it a thought ahead of time.