|Which Way in the Wildfire?
Raging wildfires, every day in the news. When I hear that, my ears perk up. We have friends who lost their home in one of those wildfires recently. And we know Native American friends who are sometimes on the frontlines of fighting them. I hate it when we hear a firefighter has been lost – like one young woman was in Idaho just a few days ago.
With some major fires raging in Washington State this past week, my mind flashed back to a heartbreaking story from another fire in that area.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Our oldest son was only two years old when our neighbor’s daughter, Kim, broke her leg. Now, on the scale of world disasters, Kim’s leg wouldn’t even move the needle. But it was a very big disaster to our two-year-old son. We got the news, and when we did we stopped, and as a family we prayed for Kim. We were done, but my son wasn’t. All day that day he kept coming up to Mom while she was at the sink or the stove, cleaning the bedroom, or whatever. And he tugged on her pant leg, and she would say, “Yes?” And he would say, “Pray for Kim.”
So they stopped and prayed for Kim once, twice, ten times. I think they prayed 20 times for Kim that day. A couple of days later we got word that Kim was doing pretty well and we told our son. He pulled Mom over to a picture of Jesus that we had hanging next to the refrigerator, and he pointed at Him and just said, “Jesus make Kim better.” We had smiled only at the way a little boy wanted to pray for Kim all day long. Maybe instead of smiling we should have been taking notes.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “A Lifestyle, Not a Compartment.”
Well, our word for today from the Word of God: Nehemiah 2:4. The situation: Nehemiah is cupbearer to the king. He has just received word that the walls of Jerusalem are down; his native city really needs rebuilding. He knows the king has the resources to make it happen, but Nehemiah is going to use his position to get to the king and he is scared.
Well, he goes before the king, “And the king said to me,” the Bible says, “‘What is it you want?’ Then I prayed to the God of heaven and I answered the king.” Now, here’s Nehemiah in his big pressure moment, and he quietly plugs into the Throne Room in heaven before he gives his answer. He prays, then he answers.
Now, as you read, you find that Nehemiah was a spiritual champion, because all through this book it says he prayed about everything as it came up. When he got some bad news at the beginning of the book, he says, “I sat down, wept and prayed.” When he heard vicious things being said about him, he instinctively begins and says, “Hear us, O Lord,” and starts talking. When an attack was imminent, it says, “We prayed to our God and posted a guard.” And now here in the big meeting with the king he prays before he answers.
See, Nehemiah believed that prayer was a lifestyle, not a compartment. We tend to put praying into certain time slots in our life: I’m having my devotions, I’m in church, I’m in a crisis, it’s bedtime. But life is happening all day long. We need to be talking with our Father and listening to Him throughout the day, entering a class, praying as we do that, praying as we answer a question, an email, as we make a stand, as we buy something, as we start a meal, pick up the phone, praying as we do our homework, as we take out the garbage, as we’re running those thousand and one errands we’ve got to do.
Prayer isn’t a religious exercise; it’s your declaration of dependence on God. To look up and say throughout the day, “This piece of my day is Yours, Lord.” You don’t have to drop to your knees or close your eyes, especially if you’re driving. It’s just a quiet recognition of Christ’s presence in your need. That’s how you carry out what the Bible says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Integrate prayer into your everyday life. Wherever possible, stop and pray with someone else when they bring a need to you. Let that be your response.
I can see this little boy insisting on praying for Kim throughout the day and then the simple worship that resulted as he pointed to a picture of Jesus, who had answered his prayers.
That could happen to you all day long if you make prayer more than just a compartment. It’s a lifestyle.