All Writings

A Same, but Different Prayer

It seems like for the last few years, our family has undergone some kind of change in its in-home dynamics. Whether its my oldest going to college or my others transitioning from homeschool into high school, there has been… change. And now, for the first time in 20 years, I’m at home alone.

In preparation for this switch and the “jobless” feeling, I found myself praying the familiar prayer that we all have most likely prayed at some point in our lives:
God what is your will for me? Or, another one like it:
God, what are your plans for me?

I don’t think these prayers are wrong to pray at all. God Himself even says, I know the plans I have for you… (Jeremiah 29:11). But for some reason, this fall, I had a “catch” in my spirit when I prayed in this way. And the Lord just quietly told me to rephrase the question like this:
Lord, what do you have for others through me?

Hmmm, is there any difference in these prayers? For my heart, yes. God wanted me to put the word “others” before the word “me”, in my prayer and in my life. Jesus was others focused; He listened to His Father and walked in obedience…towards people. Then so must I. As Christ followers, that’s what we are: vessels of His love to others.
So if He asks me to call somebody, then… call. If He asks me to write and print something, then… write and print. If He asks me to walk and pray, then…. walk and pray. (And this too), if He asks me to respect my husband, then… respect.
To illustrate, the other day, I prayed: Lord, what do you have for others through me… today?
He answered. I knew, without any doubt that the He was asking me to take some lunch to a friend of mine who just had surgery; I was already stretched for time but, I obeyed. While there, we got to talking and she mentioned that there was an exchange student from Italy who needed a host home because the first host situation was just not working out. (I had actually met this sweet young Italian girl 2 weeks prior, and had an instant motherly-love for her; God was already scheming). So, from this conversation at lunch…and a day of praying…and talking it over with my husband and our three kids still at home…we now have Giulia “Jewels” Lizzi living with us for her junior year. And she is more than a delight! Honestly, I never in a million years would have planned this myself; I’m not that adventurous. But how wonderful are His ways. To think, I would have missed it had it not been for that divinely appointed conversation at lunch.
Are you in a transition time right now? Are you waiting for Him to reveal His plans for you? While you wait, pray, Lord, what do you have for others through me… today? Then walk the way Jesus did, with love towards people.
And as you make small steps forward in obedience, have faith that He will unfold His big plans for you…plans for welfare and not calamity to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).