By Don Lindsey
A couple of weeks ago, I was driving my daughter to school and as we passed a church I caught a sign in front of the property that read “no prayer is too small”. This church always has some of the best sayings on their signs and has been the topic of one of my early columns titled “Aspire to Inspire.”
The texts that I see almost always make me laugh and they also make me think. This particular sign about there being no small prayers really got to me and has me thinking about it even now after a couple of weeks have passed. The reason for this, in my opinion, is because of my prayer habits before I became a Christian. I have known that there was a God but knowing that and truly believing it was two different things for me.
An example of this would be my approach to prayer before learning more about Jesus and His mission to draw us closer to God. I took what I’ve heard referred to as the vending machine approach to prayer meaning that I would insert my tokens in the form of prayer into the machine (God), hit a button (finishing the prayer with “amen”) and then take a step back while I waited on the goodies that I asked for to be dispensed. Needless to say, I was disappointed quite often because I rarely got what I had wanted and after learning more about how prayer works, I understood why.
Prayer is about communing with The Lord, not asking Him for personal things.
That thought ties into the sign that I read yesterday as I was driving to get my daughter from school. It read: “It’s better to know God before you meet him.” I confess that my relationship with God has been strained over the last year or two. I’ve even stopped going to church because I haven’t been able to find the peace that I’m looking for. It’s hard for me to worship when I’m struggling spiritually, always has been and when I’m in that frame of mind, I tend to stop reading the bible and allow myself to drift further and further away.
I’ve written before that when I’m at a crossroad in my spirituality, it’s 100% my fault. I have gotten to know God in the five years since I’ve been baptized and accepted Jesus as my savior and one of the main things I’ve learned is that He is always with me. I don’t always see it but He’s there and all it takes for me to recognize it is to open my heart to Him through honest prayer. I don’t ask for anything, I thank him for my blessings and when I do ask for something it’s for comfort for those that are struggling.
That train of thought has served me well in the last couple of days. The past week was a brutal one for me. Lots of emotional upset and then another health scare with my father who went into the hospital on Thursday with severe abdominal pain. As I sat in the ER with him I found myself in total despair. Worried, scared and hoping that my father would be alright. At some point, I remember taking a breath and opening up silently to God with a small prayer. “Please Lord, give my dad comfort from his pain and guide the hospital staff in the direction of healing him.” I also prayed for Jesus to lay his healing hands on my father.
Rather than finishing the prayer, I just sat back in my chair, kept my eyes closed and cleared my mind. I then found myself talking to God openly and honestly. Like all conversations with Him, I did all the talking and He all the listening. I confessed my embarrassment about not praying or communing the way I should, I conveyed my worries and concerns and also my gratitude for having the life that he’s given me and everything in it. It was then that I realized that my biggest obstruction was my concern that I would lose my blessings somehow starting with my father. He is up there in age and I know that as we get older our life expectancy doesn’t lengthen.
After a few more minutes of chatting internally with The Lord, I finished my prayer and almost on cue came a nurse in the room with some pain medication for my father. Not even an hour later they knew the cause of his pain (diverticulitis) and started to treat it with antibiotics. They ended up keeping him and the next day ran some more test that showed he was also suffering from severe acid reflux. His care team at Apopka hospital couldn’t have been better. His nurses were on point with anything he needed (Thanks to Adler, Asia, and the third-floor nursing staff) and on Friday evening he was in the truck with me heading back home. As of now, he is resting comfortably and happy to be home.
For me, this is the perfect example of there being no small prayers. I wanted to just put in a word for my dad in hopes that The Lord would help, and He did in spades. There are so many times in my life where I have or still have issues drawing close to Him but in the end, all it takes is an honest chat with my Creator and total trust in His ability to come through no matter the circumstance.
Don Lindsey is a follower of Christ, son, husband, father, and a survivor. Originally from Dayton Ohio, and resident of Apopka for six years, Don sees his life as a dedication to his wife, parents, children, and community.