Sunday, October 18, 2009

PRAYER: "The Must Have Girl Essential," (Part 1 of 2) By Kelli Zaniel

“Keep praying and don’t give up,” (Luke 18:1); The resources of God are available to the one who prays so, “cry out day and night to God,” (Luke 18:7).

I caught a brief glimpse of shimmering silver lurking on the bottom of my overcrowded diaperbag slash purse as my children and I prepared to run errands. I slowly maneuvered my shiny keys to the tip top of my diaperbag slash purse. Of course, everything inside stuck like static cling to the AWANA cubbie bear dangling from my key chain. This caused all of the contents to tumble out of my unzipped purse and onto the kitchen floor. The inventory that scattered across the floor consisted of, lip plumper lip gloss, chapstick with no top, a chocolate smudged cell phone, a wallet, a 2009 calendar (at least I have the right year), one unused Disney princess diaper, one snotty Kleenex, a stick of gum, freshly chewed gum, and tootsie roll wrappers. The only thing that remained in the purse were a couple of Dora the Explorer gummies that seemed to be fixtures stuck to the very bottom. My oldest daughter, Savanna, walked towards me with her 6 year old purse flung over her dainty, little shoulder as she surveyed the damage. “Mom, you only need the ‘must have girl essentials,’ in your purse when you leave the house,” Savanna replied with a snickering grin. I thought to myself, “did my 6 year old just instruct me on how to pack my own purse!?” Savanna continued, “you really only need keys, sparkly pink lip gloss, your drivers license and some cash.” Wait, did she just say cash?

Today’s busy woman would not be caught without her, “must have girl essentials,” tucked away somewhere on her person. These are as follows:

Keys- to get you where you need to go;
License- for justification;
Lip gloss- for presentation;
Phone- for emergencies and/or talking; and
Money- for planned or (the occassional) unplanned purchases.

When I prepare to leave the house, I need my, “must have girl essentials,” to get me safely and legally to my desired destination. If I wouldn’t leave home without my purse and all it contents, then why would I leave my bedroom in the morning without God’s “must have essentials,” for my daily life?

Lets do our own personal character inventory by comparing the “never leave home without it essentials,” to God’s “don’t start your day without it essentials:”

Just like dropping my keys into my purse, devouring God’s truth gets me where I need to go; License- Jesus steps in and provides justification; Presentation- I reverently humble and submit myself before the Lord; Cell phone- I am in constant 2 way communication with my Father; Money- because of what Jesus did on a lonely hill, I am His planned purchase.

My morning quiet time and conversation with the Creator of the Universe is my “must have girl essential.” Through my prayer time with God, I discover the four “R’s.” He gives me rest, reflection, restoration and right choices (see Ps. 23). Meeting with the One who orchestrates my day is my first priority. I like to call it, “dating Jesus in my closet!” Who wouldn’t want direction from the One who, “holds our eternal destiny in his hands,” (Matt 10:28)?

Early morning quiet times are difficult. Recently, God called me to meet with him in the early morning. He desired to draw me deeper in prayer with him (probably to equip and prepare me for my upcoming challenges). My usual time slot from 3:00pm-4:00pm in the afternoon just wouldn’t do. The telephone was ringing, my computer was dinging, supper was boiling and the occasional brawl echoed throughout the house. How could I possibly have “quiet time,” with the Almighty God who created the heavens and the earth during all of that? God graciously reminded me why we call this “quiet time” - He wants it quiet so we can really listen to His voice. We need to find a location and secure a time slot in our day that is completely free of all the static and noise of life so that God can hear US and we can hear GOD.

In those early mornings, sometimes Satan tempts me by saying, “hit the snooze button just once more;” or “you really need the rest… just a few more minutes underneath the snuggly warm covers!” He is very sneaky, isn’t he? I simply combat those temptations with the truth that God chose me, I am His treasured possession, he wants to spend time with me and he armors me with His mighty strength when I feel weak (see 2 Cor. 12:10). Oswald Chambers said it best, “prayer is not a preparation for work, it is the work. Prayer is not the preparation for the battle, it is the battle.”

If my morning is filled to the rim with God’s daily essentials, I react in a way that is much more reflective of Jesus. I notice when I am standing on the front lines of a 3 child meltdown, endless pity parties and ultimate fusses over who can sing Hannah Montana songs the best, I am slower to anger. When the pressue intensifies and the house feels as if it might bust at the seams, I can rationally stop, pause and think, “how would Jesus react in this situation?” At that point, those fruits of the spirit are ripe for the picking.

(Part 2, To be continued tomorrow…) *The first person to post a comment today about how Jesus has changed your life through prayer, gets a free copy of "Experiencing Prayer with Jesus," by Henry Blackaby!

(Something to think about: Being a disciple comes with a cost. There is a cost to denying ourself of things we want, taking up our cross daily by putting to death all of our selfish desires and following Him no matter what storms are twisting in our lives that day (see Luke 9:23). If God did not spare his only son from the agony and pain of the cross, then we should not expect Him to spare us from the cost of being his disciple. Whatever our cost, it will never measure to what it cost Jesus on Calvary’s cross to secure our place in heaven.)


  1. The Lord keeps reminding me that He wants to be part of my everythings. As I pray for this or pray for that, I'm asked, but where were you yesterday when it all went well, or the day before when you thought you were in control? The truth is the Lord is convicting me that even when I brush my teeth and tie my shoelaces He needs to be in it. Sometimes the hardest times to be in prayer are when He is so good to us because we take credit for what is not ours. Thank you, Jesus, for not giving up on me and reminding me daily that You are with me minute by minute and not just when I get to it.

  2. So, many times I pray that God would use me to change someone else. This week, I turned that prayer into... even if someone is not changed while I'm doing this something you've called me to do,I pray that God would be pleased by my heart in obeying Him.