It was a late night in early December. The clock read 1 am, and I still couldn’t fall asleep. As my restless body tossed, my weary mind turned - with anxiety and fear for one of my struggling kids.
I longed for sleep to finally come and rescue me from my anxious thoughts. Then suddenly I felt a reassuring Presence and heard a quiet voice inside...
You’ve forgotten Me, and you’ve forgotten Who I am. Remember, I am your Rescuer.
Gosh, I had forgotten. Lying there in bed, I felt surprised and humbled by how much I had regressed back to my old self and my old ways. The old me used to worry about everything, but the new me had learned to pray about everything. My life as a wife and mom had drastically changed when I discovered I could do something new when anxieties and fears stole my peace.
That something new was PRAY.
And the problem was simple. I had stopped doing it.
It wasn’t like I had stopped praying all together. But life was busy with distractions, and my MPC was collecting dust on my nightstand. I had stopped praying with intentionality, including beginning my prayer with praise: remembering WHO the God I believe in truly IS.
Over the last several years, I’ve been on a mission to fight for my family on my knees - and invite as many of you along with me as I can! Praying for my family has become one of the most important parts of my life; and perhaps the most important thing I could ever do for myself, my husband and my kids.
But “important things” don’t just happen. In fact, nothing important in life just “happens” on its own. We have to choose it, and then we have to pray for God’s grace to faithfully carry it out.
You might be wondering what’s so “important” about praising God, especially since it’s something most of us rarely (if ever) do. (At least I didn’t - for most of my life.) And though I’m no scripture scholar, I found one of the most compelling reasons to praise God in 1 Peter 3:15…
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (NIV)
Here’s the amazing thing I’ve learned about the power of praise: giving praise to God doesn’t do anything for Him. God doesn’t need our praise; we need our praise. Every time I choose to stop and praise God by remembering WHO He is, something happens in me.
With every word of my praise, I am giving the reason for the hope that I have! HOPE takes a hold of me, and just like St. Paul says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19, NIV). No matter what hardships I might be going through, I’m anchored in the hope of who my God is. And I can rest in that. (If you haven’t heard this part of my story, you can watch it here.)
That December night, while I lie in bed plagued with worry and fear, God called me back to praise Him even in the midst of difficulty. He knew I desperately needed to “give an answer” to myself for the hope that I had.
So that’s what I did.
I lulled myself to sleep with the soothing rhythm of praise. From my heart I cried out, I praise You Lord, for You are my RESCUER. You are my REFUGE and COMFORT. You are ALL-KNOWING. You know me, and You know my child. You are her CREATOR and the AUTHOR of her story. You are her FATHER, and You love her. You are her DEFENDER, and You are fighting for her. You are her SHEPHERD, and You will never leave her or abandon her. You are the MASTER PLANNER, with the perfect plan for her life. You are GOOD, and You are ABLE to work all things, even the hardest things, for her good!
As I spoke out these praises, I felt like God was placing a blanket of calm and peace over me. I no longer needed sleep to rescue me, because I had called upon God, my true RESCUER. And in Him, I found my REST.
I will never forget that night, when God lovingly called me back - to that most “important thing” I’d forgotten and let fall away. I will also never forget the following week, when God gave me the word for my New Year’s resolution; in the shower of all places! (God is FUNNY too. ;)
That word was RENEW.
Dear friends, as we look ahead to 2019, it’s natural to set our sights on something “new”. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, because God is always doing something new in our lives! (Isaiah 43:19)
But this year, God is showing me that sometimes the “important thing” He wants to do isn’t necessarily new at all. Sometimes it is something in our lives already that we’ve fallen away from; something old He wants to make new again.
My word for 2019 is RENEW. The prefix “RE” means “again”, so the word renew means to do just that… to make new again.
As you begin this new year, maybe the Lord wants to make something new again in your life too.
Perhaps He is calling you back to…
~ Reintroduce you to His love
~ Renew your life of prayer with Him
~ Reaffirm your faith
~ Reignite your passion
~ Rekindle a flame
~ Rediscover your identity as His beloved child
~ Restore a relationship
~ Recommit to a discipline or habit
~ Rebuild lost trust
~ Reclaim you for Himself
~ Reestablish you in the truth of who you are
Wherever the Lord is calling you in this New Year, I pray that we, along with your Mother’s Prayer Companion, can offer you a soft place to land and some nourishment for your journey. Onwards, mamas, together let’s revere in our hearts Christ as Lord!
We praise You, God, for You are our HOPE, and You alone make all things new again.
“Behold, I make all things new.”
Revelation 21:5, RSV