Mr. A and received two challenges for the month of October one during Sunday morning services, and one during our Sunday night small group study. The first was issued from our pastor to our whole church and that was to commit to 30 days of praying for one hour a day. My first initial thought was pray for an hour! Are you kidding me I get distracted during prayer time at church how am I ever going to pray for an hour?! So during invitation I prayed hard for God to give me the desire to do this and I decided I was just going to give it a go yesterday and not beat myself up if I couldn't do it. You know what I didn't pray for an hour I prayed for nearly two.
I learned that praying can be praising and singing hymns, it can be cleaning or doing manual labor all the while carrying on a conversation with God, and of course it can be reading and praying scripture over those you love. In our series at church we've been doing a lot with prayer and why it's so difficult for so many of us to commit to and it's because in my pastor's words we have "professionalized prayer". I learned that when I let go of what I thought prayer looked like and to embrace what prayer meant to me it became a lot easier. While I'm not sure I'll get an hour of prayer time in every day I'm sure going to try for 30 days. So today marks day two of our 30 days of prayer challenge and if anyone wants to join me please feel free to do so. In fact leave a comment so we can support each other!
Our next challenge came from our Bible study leaders on Sunday night and it really struck a chord with me. We're going through Gary Smalley's From Anger to Intimacy study and one of the things we talked about was changing our thinking about situations instead of believing when you get hurt that the person meant to hurt you which is often not the case we should turn to God and ask what am I to learn from this. We also talked about how often we are guilty of bemoaning simple tasks that are really blessings. We learned to replace the words "have to" with "get to".
So this morning while lying in my extra comfy bed instead of laying there whining "I have to get up, I have to go to work" I instead thought how fortunate am I that I get to get up at 6AM to go to a steady full time job that so many have been praying for and it made dragging myself out of bed a little bit easier. On the way to work I kept thinking man I have to drive to work with crazy people today and then I caught myself and changed it to thinking how fortunate am I that I get to drive to work instead of take a bus or walk and how fortunate is my family to have two vehicles completely paid for. So I encourage you if just for one day anytime you catch yourself saying the words "have to" replace them with "get to" I guarantee you by the end of the day you will be so thankful for the blessings you've been given.