Today We Pray

Today I am having a hard time focusing. Why? Because tomorrow I leave for Nicaragua with a group of 14 other people, ready to serve!! The excitement of seeing our kids again, seeing our schools, and getting to “show” Nicaragua to new people has left me joyous and a little giddy. Who am I kidding?!? A little giddy?!? More like a-whole-lotta giddy!!

In fact, I feel like a kid just before school lets out for the year who is watching the seconds click away until the bells rings, almost twitching with anticipation to see what amazing things are going to happen in the days to come.

Have you ever felt that way? Hardly able to contain yourself because something you what to do, or someone you love dearly but haven’t seen in a long time is getting close?? If you have, then you know it is a powerful emotion and then when what you hoped for happens it can quickly become one of the moments in your life you never forget.

Now you may be wondering if there is something special about this trip that makes me so excited. The answer is no. It is not different. The goal is the same. We are fighting for hope. Hope through love; hope through redemption; hope through grace. The faces on the team are different (though we have some repeats and even one coming down for the third time!! shout out to Tony Ramirez!!), but the focus is still Christ and the promises he offers.

So why am I SO excited? Because of my expectations.

I have shared one of my favorite verses with many of you that are involved with our work. It is Psalm 5:3 that says, “In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” I love this verse, especially the end of it, because it changed the way I prayed.

Before, when I prayed, I used to pray for something and hope that God answered it. But after reading this verse and looking at how Jesus LIVED his prayer life, I knew I needed to change what I was doing AFTER I prayed.

At first, I thought I needed to stop hoping God answered my prayers, and start WAITING IN EXPECTATION for God’s answer! Then, as I started to look at this verse more deeply, I found that in the original Hebrew text the writer did not use the verb “to wait”, he used the verb “to watch”. In other words, waiting was not enough! We are called to go beyond waiting expectantly for an answer. We are called to WATCH expectantly for an answer!

For me, this was a prayer revolution.

Since then my prayers are no longer something I do, but have transformed into something I do my best to LIVE. You know what I mean? I no longer ask God for something, then periodically or at the end of the day check to see if it has been answered. Instead, now I am CONSTANTLY looking and WATCHING for God to move throughout the entire day!! Sure, there are days when I fail to do this adequately. We all have days that we are selfish, or focus on other things, or get “too busy” to pray as we should. BUT on those days when I DO pray like this, my entire world view changes.

Strangers are no longer strangers – they are a potential answer to prayer! Problems are no longer problems – they are a way for God to SHOW me what He is trying to say! My job is no longer a burden – it is yet another place where I can LOOK for God!

The world is made far more beautiful because everywhere I look I see the potential to see or hear God.

I think this is one of the reasons that Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 to “Be joyful always; pray CONTINUALLY; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” When we are constantly watching for God to move, we are essentially continuing our prayer to him! By watching for it and wrestling with the world to focus on it we are relentlessly imploring the Lord to move, to change things, to answer, to love, to fill-in-the-blank in response to our pleas for Him.

And I have no doubt that it makes a HUGE difference on how God hears our prayers AND how deeply they change our lives.

So, how does this relate to Nicaragua? I cannot wait to WATCH for God in everything that we do! I cannot wait to SEE God come through on the prayer requests that we have been lifting up every morning!!

I CANNOT WAIT TO WATCH GOD BE GOD!

Will you join us in this prayer?

Will you help us watch for God? I promise that if you do, you will not be disappointed. I cannot promise that He will move how we expect, request or want BUT I CAN promise that He will move.

Here are the areas we are praying for specifically on this trip:

1. God’s will be done in all things
2. The health and safety of our children (both communities and by name)
3. That God will prepare the way for the people that we meet and work alongside
4. That our activities be of Him and leave a lasting, positive impact (spreading hope, joy, love, and the gospel ; strengthening Christian and international community; educational enrichment; VBS training and execution)
5. Our team (that we are used by Him; unity; that we are open to being changed and challenged by the Lord; that we are granted wisdom and given words and actions)

FOR THOSE THAT JOIN US IN THESE PRAYERS, we would LOVE to know you are praying and to celebrate with you when those prayers are answered!! Feel free to leave a comment below, send me an email at chris@withonehope.org or even post on Facebook!!

However you want to let us know you are praying we would love to thank you personally, pray for you too, AND share in this journey together!!

Finally, we at With One Hope are ALL SO very grateful for you and your prayers. I believe whole heartedly they are making a HUGE impact, are changing lives, and helping us spread hope through the gospel.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a few answers I am watching for!!

One Comment

  1. Papa & Gigi says:

    as always our prayers will be concerning each one of you.
    May blessings abound. Papa & Gigi

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