There is something serene about relaxing on my front porch swing with the breeze blowing the branches of my huge eucalyptus tree in a steady back and forth rhythm. The two motions soothe my aching emotions.
Adding to my pleasure is my flower and herb garden bordering the porch. Right now lilies, geraniums, petunias, tarragon, and an assortment of desert flowers are blooming a brilliant array of color. Isn’t it amazing how herbs can blend their aromas together and produce a palate of tastes to arouse all your senses at once?
I love my front porch especially in the evenings when I have the vast western sunset performing a dramatic display of God’s glory. Everything about the setting is comfort and peace. That is why when a friend has a need, my first response is, “Meet me on my front porch!”
These mentoring sessions always include teaching from the Word, prayer times, and of course a few stories of my own. I often have a story to match any crisis or dilemma. I am sharing with you the following story, which I hope will set the stage for our next series together.
I had a little girl join my Sunday School class. She was too young for the age limit but she came anyway with her older sisters. Without a shy bone in her body, she wanted to be as big as the other kids. Therefore, she felt she had to answer every question. Being in church she reasoned the correct answer at least most of the time would be, “Jesus”.
Who built the ark? Jesus
Who played a harp? Jesus
Who wrote the book of Matthew? Jesus
Who denied Jesus three times? Jesus
It didn’t matter what the question. Most of the time she didn’t even wait until I finished the question. She was on the edge of her seat, eyes sparkling, and hand waving. “I know, I know!” she would cry out until I was forced to stop and call on her. Her enthusiasm always brought giggles from everyone else in the class. Years later and I still giggle thinking about her.
I want to be just like Madison. I want to be so childlike and eager to please and yes, assured of the answer that I never stop declaring to all who will listen, “Prayer is the answer.” I know most people get annoyed with me. Adults don’t giggle like the kids do. Adults want more dignified answers. But the truth is:
If you are stressed as tight as a rubber band…prayer is the answer.
If you are caught between a rock and a hard place…prayer is the answer.
If you are lost and clueless about your next step…prayer is the answer.
If you are trapped in a pit of despair…prayer is the answer.
I could go on but I am sure you have the idea. It is the simplest answer but often the hardest thing to do in each scenario. A child can pray with faith-filled power but adults struggle to pray like a child. God made prayer easy enough for a child but most adults find it too difficult to attain. Prayer is a paradox. It is both the easiest task of a believer yet at the same time it is the hardest challenge for a believer. Why?
Why do believers who know that the fullness of joy is in the presence of the Lord, can’t find joy in prayer? Why is it when we need strength we don’t go to the source of all strength? Why do we continue to struggle with the direction of our lives when God has already promised to guide our every step? We have not because we ask not.
I asked on Facebook for ideas for the next series. One friend gave this suggestion: Hhmm. Maybe talk on anxiety and stress and the impact it has on us emotionally, psychologically, and physically. And then how we can use God’s word to fight it. A lot of men and women suffer from this. And I, myself, could use more wisdom and encouragement in this department.
I am no expert but I will share what I have learned. Meet me here each Wednesday and we will imagine ourselves on my front porch. I will share some truths from His Word and give you some tips on how to pray. Together we will face the challenges of this world. I will share some of my stories and I hope you will share too.
Until then, pray daily for the childlike faith to trust Him in prayer.