My attention span seems to be that of a gnat (which, by the way, is about .210005 of a second, according to Google).
Ask me to pray out loud, likely you’ll hear simple sentences and unassuming words. Sometimes I wonder if my spoken prayers sound more like the ubiquitous 7-11 worship songs of the 90s. (You know the kind – the ones that repeat the same seven words 11 times.) “Lord, give me wisdom, give me wisdom, give me wisdom…”
I’m better at putting words on paper, thoughtfully, rather than speaking extemporaneously. Even then, it’s brief – maybe the professional consequence of being an editor.
I know the Lord hears my heart. In the end, I know it doesn’t matter how I pray, it matters that I do pray, and that my prayers are not for man’s ears, but God’s.
Nearly 10 years ago, a job change meant a shorter commute to work. I discovered it allowed more time with God every morning. It’s become one of my favorite times of the day. During those moments, I’ve read through the Bible several times, journaled my thoughts, and recorded my prayers. Sometimes I’ve even prayed out loud!
It’s nowhere near the two years that James Gribble spent in prayer more than 100 years ago as he awaited entry into Ubangi Chari – but it’s a start. Gribble is just one of the Grace Brethren prayer heroes that Dr. Roger Peugh describes in this issue of the magazine in an excerpt from his opening talk at the 2013 Brethren World Assembly.
I’m encouraged by the increased focus on prayer in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches. Several years ago, a group met for a daily prayer time in the early morning hours of national conference. Those brief moments grew into monthly prayer sessions via conference call. They continue to gather to this day and are laying the groundwork for future ministries within the FGBC, just as Gribble, through prayer, laid the foundation for a ministry in the Central African Republic.
“Nothing is more astounding than prayer,” says Grace Brethren statesman Tom Julien, who also writes in this issue. “When I raise my head to God and call upon Him in faith, He hears, He decrees responses, He sends His angels to do His bidding, He opens doors, and He fills His servants with courage and power.”
It doesn’t matter how you pray. It matters that you pray. — by Liz Cutler Gates
Liz Cutler Gates is the editor of GraceConnect. Since 2010, she has served as executive director of the Brethren Missionary Herald Company, the parent organization of GraceConnect. She and her husband, Doug, live in Warsaw, Ind.