Monday, November 18, 2013

Prayer Warriors

When you think of spiritual giants who do you think of? Moses? Elijah? Chances are my grandma isn't on your list. But you probably know someone like her who is on your list. Someone who makes you say "I want to be like ____ when I grow up." I am blessed to know of a number of people like this, but I want to talk about my grandma who is probably the greatest prayer warrior I know.

To look at her, she may not seem like a prayer warrior. You might see a frail old woman with a walker. You might see a women who can't see much of the physical world anymore. You might see a quiet reserved woman with a pleasant smile on her face. Warrior? Not from outward appearances.

But when I look at her, I see a woman on her knees in prayer, I see a woman in the prime of life, fully clad with the armor of God (See Ephesians 6:10-18) charging up to the gates of heaven and rattling them with prayers. I see a woman who is humble before God and would likely be downright embarrassed that I wrote a blog post about her. "No no. I'm hardly worthy of all that. Write about someone else," she would say. But that is one of the reasons that makes her exactly the person I want to write about.

My dad would say "My ma prays holes in carpets." Meaning, she was on her knees so much in prayer or walking around the house in prayer so much that it would wear holes in the carpet! What a wonderful thing to have a child share with others. "This is my mom, she prays holes in carpets."

It is said that it takes 10,000 hours to master something. Why should prayer be any different? Doesn't it make sense that the more you pray, the better you are at it? The more "natural" and "part of life" it becomes.  And why stop at a mere 10,000 hours? Prayer doesn't have to be long or eloquent. It can be short and sweet. "Thank you Lord for keeping us safe on the drive to and from the store today." It becomes a fluid conversation with God. Certainly wonderful and personal during quiet times, but just as important during the loud chaos times too. If I had to wait for only the quiet times, in this phase of life, I might not ever get the chance to pray!

My grandma has been known to stay up all night in prayer. Not on her knees anymore, but sitting in her chair. When she found out her great-grandson would need a major surgery, she spent the whole night in prayer.  Happened to be the best night he has ever slept too, I don't think that's a coincidence! Doesn't that paint a lovely picture? All the sincere love poured out by this woman, wrapping her beloved great-grandson up in prayer. And lets not forget all the other times she has done this. Praying her great-grandchildren home. Praying for her grandchildren. Her children. Her spouse. Her church. Her government. Missionaries. The poor and downtrodden. Etc. Constantly standing before the gates of heaven with her prayers.

And let's not forget the praise portion of prayer. It isn't just imploring God for something, it is praising him for His greatness and mercy. She's worn holes in carpets over those things too. We are talking thorough and complete praying.

I'm sure she didn't become a "master prayer warrior" overnight. I know it took practice. It took time to reach those 10,000 hours and beyond. For it to become thorough, complete, everyday, every moment natural way of life. Raising payers as fragrant incense to the Lord. To pray holes in carpets.

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