At 6:00am this morning, I’m still in dreamland, snuggled comfortably in my bed, while Lane is quietly getting ready for his early morning men’s group at Grace Point. (He really is being quiet!) At 6:10am, he gently calls my name and touches my arm, reminding me what to tell the irrigation folks when they come at 10:00am. I sleepily open my eyes and mumble, “okay, got it,” then fall back to sleep to the sound of the beeping alarm as he resets it on his way out the door.
Twenty minutes later, as I’m again in dreamland, I’m startled awake by a voice beside me saying, “Karen” in a quiet, but insistent voice. My eyes pop open, but no one is beside my bed. What was that? The voice seemed so real. Now I’m wide awake! And God begins bringing people to my mind, people He wants me to pray for. I’m suddenly overwhelmed with the need to get out of bed, get on my knees and pray. And I do!
I wish I could say this is a daily habit of mine, this “popping out of bed and immediately falling on my knees in prayer” thing. But too often, I pop out of bed, okay…. well…. maybe drag myself out of bed is the more accurate scenario, and immediately start thinking of what I need to do first. What’s most pressing on my “to do list?” Or I’m busily preparing some breakfast for Lane, and packing him a lunch before he heads to the church office.
What would happen, what prayers might be answered, if I dropped to my knees first thing every morning? Kind of like “Stop! Drop! and Roll!” in a fire. But for this it would be “Pop! (out of bed) Drop! (to my knees) and Pray! (to my Creator and Lover of my soul)” I like that! Kind of catchy, isn’t it? “Pop! Drop! and Pray!”
Somebody recently said it used to take 21 days to establish a new habit, or break an old one. (If I could remember who said it, I would tell you!) Now, new research suggests it takes at least 60 days to establish a new habit, or break an old one. That’s 2 whole months of daily doing the same thing, the same way! I’m not a girl who likes routine. I like to change things up, rearrange, try something new, so I don’t get bored. But thank goodness, I DO brush my teeth every morning before interacting with other human beings! I brush my hair, take my daily pills, take a shower, and eat breakfast. Every day.
So, I DO have routine in my days. Which means I COULD simply make this another part of my routine, and get up 15-20 minutes earlier every day. Hmm. Therein lies the rub. I love my sleep too much! I’m not a morning person. I really wish I was! I want to be that person who pops out of bed and starts singing “Oh what a beautiful morning. Oh what a beautiful day….” In reality, I’m the person who drags herself to the bathroom, eyes half open, and grunts “mornin” to my perky, morning-person husband who cheerily says “Good morning, Love!” Check in with me about two hours later, and I’m actually human and ready to tackle the day:-).
So, what to do? By the way, I DO pray. I don’t want to give the impression I don’t pray. I do! It’s just not a consistent time or place every day. (Which I feel guilty about and want to change.) Sometimes I pray while doing the dishes or driving or folding laundry or….. I think you get my drift. If God prompts me to pray about something, or for someone, I stop and pray right then. Or if I’m driving alone, instead of listening to the radio or my playlist, I will tune in to God and “listen” for His voice. The Bible does say “pray continually.” Which I take to mean, be ready and willing to talk to God anytime His Spirit nudges me to pray.
Which reminds me of this morning, and “the voice” I heard saying my name. Could it have been God waking me up? I’ve had this happen to me several other times over the course of my life. Times when God has clearly called me out of sleep to pray. I’ve always loved the account in I Samuel 3 when God called to Samuel four times in his sleep “Samuel! Samuel!” Each time he got up and went to Eli, thinking he had called him. And on the fourth time, Samuel knew it was the Lord God and answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” I want to be the child God awakens, the child who responds to His call!
I don’t really understand how prayer works. I just know God calls us to pray and hears us when we do! He desires to know us and hear what’s in our heart. He wants to give us the desires of our hearts, if it fits with His plan for us and others. And if we are listening well as we pray, He will guide us and teach us through His Spirit and His Word.
Last week, I asked my daughter, Kristen, how I could pray specifically for her. And she asked me to pray that she would get some referrals for patients needing psychological testing. She recently began a new position as a consultant for a counseling center in Nashville. I prayed and the next day I received this text: “Mom, did you pray for me yesterday?” My response: “I did! Why?” Her next text made me smile: “When I opened my email this morning, a referral was waiting for me! Keep praying for more, Mom!” And I did:-). The next day, she texted again: “Did you pray again?! Because I got another referral!” My response: “Why yes, I did pray today! And that is awesome!” God listened and blessed her:-). He answered my prayers!
In recent weeks and months, God has answered some very specific prayers. If I don’t pray, I won’t recognize His power at work on my behalf. Prayer is powerful and moves God! He wants me to be intentional in my praying, and not just pray when I happen to remember to “tune in.” This is where I struggle. (I’m being really transparent here!) So, I’m committing to being more intentional, and making prayer the most important part of my day, by starting with prayer.
Today is Day 1! I’m committing to 60 days of “Pop! (up out of bed) Drop! (on my knees) and Pray! (to my Creator and Lover of my soul).” Will you join me in making prayer the very first thing you do every day for the next 60 days? I promise, it will change you! Today is May 10 (well, actually it is now May 11 as I finish typing this!). Sixty days will take us through July 8th (or 9th). If something happens and you forget a day, just pick it up again the next day:-).
Maybe you are more disciplined than I am and already start every day on your knees. That’s wonderful! I’m in awe of your devotion and discipline:-). I seriously am! Would you be an encourager to me and others who want and need to make this a daily habit?
I can’t wait to see how God will use our commitment, a commitment to meet with Him every morning as our first action of the day! I believe we will be changed and others will be changed as a result of our intentional prayers. And, I will be praying for YOU as you “Pop! Drop! and Pray!” for the next 60 days!!
Please let me know if you plan to join me on this 60-day journey. You can hit “comment” or simply email me directly to let me know “you are in!” Won’t it be great fun to see who all will be joining us? We could be starting a new prayer movement!
And don’t hesitate to share with me how God is moving and answering prayer as a direct result of your commitment to pray more intentionally:-).
You have called me to “Pop! Drop! and Pray!” Help me to honor my commitment to make prayer my first priority of the day. I look forward to our time together! And can’t wait to see what You are going to do in the next 60 days in my life, the lives of my blog-reading friends, and the lives of those I pray for each day!
In Jesus name, Amen.