One of my nephews has been in the hospital for a few days, and it’s had me thinking and praying about all kinds of things.
The devil does his best to keep us from regularly praying. To keep us from knowing our Bible. One of his tactics is to tell us that we’re strong enough; we don’t need to pray about getting through their day… like only wimps would do such a thing. He says that daily struggles aren’t big enough to bother God with.
And it’s true… many people do “make it through their day” without relying on God or involving Him at all. Plenty of us can develop thick enough skins to survive through what life deals us on a daily basis. And we can solve most of our daily problems without Him. Problems like getting around that closed road. Problems like dealing with the frustrated customer. Problems like overcoming that difficult job in the middle of your day. But…
My kids and their cousins are demonstrating a very profound truth.
Sooner or later, life throws things at us that we CANNOT overcome. When my nephew suddenly started having seizures a few days ago, there wasn’t a one of us who could do anything at all to make them stop. We don’t have the training or power. The doctors have training that sometimes helps them figure things like this out… but many times, even they are not able to figure out what is causing seizures. Either way, we certainly cannot affect or change whether they figure it out or not.
It’s times like these that people — even kids — are face to face with the fact that we need a connection to something more powerful than us.
In those moments that our spiritual training suddenly makes quite a difference.
The one who has allowed themselves to become well-trained in prayer and going to God and trusting Him over the little things in life finds going to Him over big things as natural as breathing.
On the other hand, those who are not well-trained find themselves reaching for a sword that is still unwieldy in their hands. They are not sure what words are the best to pray. They’re not sure what to think. They’re not sure how to trust. The taunts of the enemy criticize every insecurity they have, and they hear every taunt loud and clear… while the words and directions of their Master and Commander they do NOT hear loud and clear because they are not well-trained in listening.
Does God hear their prayers? Of course He does! The power of prayer itself doesn’t change depending on who is praying, just as a sharp sword doesn’t become dull just because it’s put into the hands of a novice. Nor does a shield suddenly become fragile when it’s held up by a child. The novice is still technically capable of using that sword in a deadly thrust, and the shield will still protect the child who holds it up.
The Christian who is still a child in their experiences of trusting God will not be able to hold up that shield of faith and trust anywhere near as long as someone who has practiced holding it high every day through the little things in life. And the novice swordsman who is not well-trained in hearing the Voice that brings scriptures to mind will find it is not natural for him to wield this Sword of Truth quickly in effectual ways.
It is natural for my younger nieces to call my oldest daughter and ask her to lead them in prayer. They are younger and have not had the training and experiences that she has, for she has had extensive training in trusting God and praying through the things everyday life brings.
But it is also possible for an adult Christian – even one who has known at least a little of the power of prayer for many years – to not be any more practiced than my young nieces. I remember being there myself, and it is actually the difference in me now that got me to thinking about all of this.
I also know that all of us – no matter how much spiritual training we have had – can still become even more well-trained.
That’s what I’d like to encourage all of us (including myself) in. The more we practice trusting Him and praying through every little and middle-sized thing that comes our way, the easier it will be for us whenever the next battle comes our way.
We will also be better equipped to answer the call when those around us find themselves needing someone experienced to take them by the hand and show them how to fight.
Let’s answer the call!
1 thought on “When you’re trained…”
Thank you so much for this reminder to thank God in good times and bad. He deserves to be thanked for the good, just as well as he deserves to be thanked for the bad times.