Whittington: Don’t wait for a crisis to pray to God

Notes from the Church Lady

By Debra Whittington

Religion Columnist

We were returning home after a long drive and had just dropped off the Caprock north of Ragland by the time darkness fell. We were still a few miles from Quay, when suddenly there was a big, black cow standing in the middle of the road. I screamed out, “Lord! Help us”, while Mark maneuvered the truck and trailer around the animal.

With the Lord’s help and very skillful driving, Mark avoided a serious accident and saved the cow as well. We called the State Police to notify them of the cow and hoped no one else would come face to face with the cow.

All I could think about was getting home and the last thing I thought of was prayer. Still, the minute a crisis arose, the first words from my lips was calling out to the Lord for help. It wasn’t the first time I called out to the Lord as we have regular communication on a daily basis.

Crisis praying is important and very effective, but other types of prayer are needed on a daily basis. One of the most neglected is prayers of praise, talking to the Lord and praising Him without asking for one thing. If it is difficult to pray without asking the Lord for anything, try reading the Psalms, especially Psalms 100 and Psalm 103 which begins, “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”

While praying for ourselves is something we find easy to do and would fill hours of prayer time, it is important to be available to pray for others in need. These needs are more numerous than the grains of sand on the beach, but that is never an excuse not to pray when asked.

I try to stop and pray for a need when I am told about it instead of waiting to pray later because I sometimes forget. I try to walk into another room or step outside to have a moment to pray for the need. I don’t need to know the person or all the details of the need because the Lord already knows all about it. Instead, as it says in Galatians 6:2, “Bear ye one another’s burdens.” There are times we just need someone to help us bear up under the burdens we are experiencing at the time.

I wish I could be more like some of my Christian friends who seem to have a direct line to the Lord that is open at all times. These are the ones who put into practice 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 which says, “Pray without ceasing.  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” They don’t necessarily give thanks for all that happens, but thanks that the Lord will bring you through every situation. It goes back to making a practice of giving thanks every day.

Prayer is like exercise, it takes work and constant diligence to build up those prayer muscles. The more you pray, the easier it becomes. Don’t rely on a crisis situation to cry out to the Lord, begin today by praying for those around you. I am always amazed and humbled when I ask someone how I can pray for them, it was hard in the beginning, but has become such a blessing and privilege.

Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at:

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