The {Joy} of Prayer

For all my of my short little life, I have known my dad to eat one of two things for breakfast; Raisin Brand or plain oatmeal with raisins (ehhh…maybe for a little spice he does brown sugar and cinnamon).

Every morning. With a little glass of orange juice and probably some minerals and vitamins. And then he sits down and regardless of the mayhem that 8 children bring to any morning, he prays.

And prays. And then he prays some more.

It’s the same prayer every morning. He prays for people, thanking God for answered prayers, adding new people and requests as needed. He thanks God for food and shelter and good health. He prays over each of us by name; “Lord, please watch over Beth, Theresa, Caroline, Sarah Ann, Mary Lou, Jess, Joe, Katie, and Ben.” I assume he has added in husbands and grands at this point. He prays for our country and our leaders. He prays over his business and employees. He prays for the church. He prays for wisdom, discernment, knowledge and understanding. And when a new baby is coming, he prays that the baby will “have a sweet spirit and learn from an early age to love Jesus with their whole heart.”

But it doesn’t stop after he digs into that oatmeal. My dad prays all day, every day. For everything. You need a parking space? “Jesus, let me find a parking spot somewhere, anywhere, close would be nice. Just let me find a parking spot.” You lost the hammer that was just in your hand two minutes ago? “Jesus, I really need to find that hammer. Where did I put it? Would you help me find it?” I kid you not. The man talks to God all day like He is his best friend. Because He is.

As a kid, I never really thought about how  my dad prayed. At the dinner table, he would pray kinda long prayers and I can remember thinking “Geeeeeeezzzeeee, I am hungry.” As an adult, I savor those prayers and bask in the words. They are precious to me now. His gift of prayer is precious to me now, because I see Dad’s prayer for what it is now; a gift. I see it as one of the biggest blessings that my parents bestowed upon me. Because I pray now. It’s more like a never-ending conversation with Jesus. I pray for parking spaces, lost keys, glasses, phones, books, my mind, you get the picture.

That conversation with Jesus throughout the day is what keeps me sane. It’s what soothes my soul when I worry over big things like Randy and the kids, or work, or precious friends and family. It’s what brings my heart rate back down when I panic over deadlines and obligations or sponsorships for Toast of the Town (and if anyone reading this feels led by the Spirit to be a part of this wonderful event, you just let me know and we will get you right with Jesus). This exercise in conversation with the Big Guy is what reaffirms my faith. I admit, there are times when I am just talking to talk. Judge away. But, I believe in the power of that conversation. I can see the evidence of that power in my life every day.

And in that, I thank God for giving me a dad who prayed. He didn’t just tell me about the power of prayer, (although I may have heard about it a good bit too), I saw it lived out in an earnest and sincere manner. It’s an example and a foundation that I hope I am sharing with those I love the most.