Let’s Skip Thanksgiving and Go Straight to Christmas

I was blessed today to share at MOPS today. Although starting out shaky (I get SO nervous) I had a lot of fun. I was able to read this to them. I hope it encourages you to dream big but wait on God’s timing!!  Enjoy!!!!
I love to pray with my five year old daughter Lydia. She prays like she talks; very precise, questioning and has no problem telling God exactly how she feels. She is so precious.
Last night she begins her prayers. She prays for her family, the dogs, the man on the motorcycle we saw on the way to Walmart, my horses I had as a child, then, she begins to pray for Christmas. No, nothing religious I could be proud of, but she prays a strange little prayer. She prays, “God, make Christmas come faster. Skip Thanksgiving and all the rest, just bring Christmas.”
I remembered that morning she had asked me how many days until Christmas. I’m curious, so after the prayer, I ask. “Why do you want Christmas to come so fast?”
“I want to see grandma and grandpa and get presents.”
I tucked her blond hair behind her ears. “If Christmas comes first, you’ll miss out on Thanksgiving. You get to see grandma and grandpa then and they always bring you a present.”
“I don’t care.”
“But you’ll miss your Thanksgiving and Christmas parties at school.”
“I don’t care.”
“You’ll miss out on so much if God moved up Christmas. You’d miss Thanksgiving break, birthday parties, all the stuff you learn at school.”
“I don’t care.”
I nodded. It’s usually useless to argue with a five-year-old.
As I walked from her room, I realized I just had the same conversation with my daughter that I often have with God.
Many times in prayer, we ask God to hurry up with an answer. We may be impatient or plainly hurting but the request is the same: answer us, now. We don’t even realize the blessings we might be missing out on if He did.
My daily prayer calendar said one day last week that “patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while we are waiting.”
As I look back over the years, I have a few, personal, long standing prayers. One of them is writing.
I’ve wanted to give up, but every day had a purpose. I don’t always see it or understand it, but like I told my daughter about Christmas, if it comes too fast, we miss out on the blessings in between.
Our prayers may be simple enough that God shows Himself immediately or they may take years for Him to bring it to pass, but wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14
Pray on warriors!
Dana
Don’t forget to check out my webpage at www.danakray.com
If you’re looking for a Christmas gift or a good book to read, pic up A Second Chance!! danakray.com or Amazon

Pray with Intensity!

I went to Silver Dollar City. I am deathly afraid of heights but my daughter talked me into riding the Giant Swing.

We get on the ride with three other people; a dad and two girls around the age of 7.  The ride starts and I’m thinking this will be okay until we swing back for the first time. I close my eyes tightly, my knuckles are white and I begin praying, hard, because I am terrified for my life.

“Jesus,” I say, “Just make it end.  Oh, Lord, help me! God, make it stop. I don’t want to die…”

My daughter, instead of enjoying the ride, is trying her best to console me. “It’s okay, mommy,” she says, patting my arm. “It’s almost over. That was the biggest swing. It’s getting lower. It’ll be okay.”

“Oh, Jesus,” I say with more intensity. “Help me, you have to stop this thing…”

From start to finish, the ride lasts one minute. The longest minute of my life.  When the seat belt unbuckles, I shout, “Thank you Jesus. Oh, thank you Jesus.”  The people watching are getting a good laugh. My daughter is still trying to console me and the two seven-year-olds are asking their dad to ride it again.

As I staggered away I tried to catch my breath, slow down my heart rate, and get the feelings back in my hands, I heard God say, “Oh, Dana. If only you’d pray with one-tenth of that intensity we could move mountains.”

When was the last time you prayed with that kind of intensity? When you felt your life was on the line? Maybe it was the death of a loved one or a bad diagnosis? What if we could pray with that kind of intensity all the time? We could, and would, move mountains.

God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare Pray hard and long.   Ephesians 6:17-18 (The Message)

Precious Prayers

We had an exciting evening at church tonight.  This semester, I am teaching early childhood.  I miss my older 1st – 5th grade kids but I know the importance of them learning from other teachers then just me.  Despite missing them, I love the little ones and sure do have fun with them.

One of the things I’ve always done with little ones, even back when I taught preschool, is I want to teach them to pray.  It’s very easy and fun.  Right before snack, when they are all sitting down, we pray for our food.  I like to get on my knees, I think it’s important to be on their level and for them to see this prayer posture in an adult.  I go around to each child and ask them if they’d like to pray.

There is nothing more precious then their prayers.  Some pray serious prayers for their parents and their pets, some tell family secrets, and some just make you want to laugh.

One boy likes to pray in his head so we get to him he says, “I want to pray in my head.”  I remind him to say amen when he’s done.  We all bow our heads and sit quietly, well, as quiet as fourteen preschoolers can and then he shouts, “Amen.”

I had two new kids at the start of January. When it came to their turn to pray the first night, they said they didn’t want to pray. I assured them that it was okay, not every wants to.

I was talking to their mother after church and I was telling her how we pray in class and how much I love to hear the kids pray.

She said, “My kids didn’t they?”

I said, “No, but that’s okay, not all kids want to.”

She said, “We come from a church background where that’s just not normally done.”

Again, I told her it was okay, I just like to give them the chance if they want.  We chatted some more then went on our way.

Tonight, three weeks and three classes later, I asked the two if they wanted to pray.  Brother said he would if sister did first.  I looked at the sister and she nodded and started praying.  I grinned deeply as she prayed then he prayed, thanking God for the little things like hearing a preschooler’s precious prayers.