A Funny Thing about Prayers
By Pauline Hylton
A chicken landed on my head. "Ladies, be patient, I'm getting your food."
Who knew two years ago I'd be feeding 75 hens, collecting eggs and selling fresh produce at farmers markets?
The truth be known, I prayed for it. Not necessarily for the chicken on my head, but I prayed the Lord would move us to a new state, a new ministry, and a new life. I asked Him for a deeper faith in Him, and that my husband would be known in the gates—not me.
He answered, but not like I thought He would.
A friend of mine said, "If you can figure out how God is going to do something, that's not how He's going to do it."
Ain't that the truth.
He moved us to 66 acres to start a farm and a new business. We'd never grown anything, much less made a living doing it. In fact, until college, I thought olives grew with the red things in them. We are completely dependent on God for everything—so are you friend, you just haven't realized it yet.
Then, He plunked us down outside of Mayberry RFD with my 94-year-old mom who needs a lot of my attention. So it's not me the people at our church know—I can't get there as often as I'd like—it's Tom. In fact, he's teaching a Sunday School class on Hebrews. Go figure.
My two prayers answered, just not how I would have done it.
Prayer is powerful.
This year, I'm praying for three things and they're not even original. Moses prayed them after the golden calf incident. They're found in Exodus 33:12-23 which happens to be your reading for today.
The first request of Moses is in verse 13. He asked to know the Lord. That's my heart, too. I want to know him like I know a close friend.
The other day while driving the 50-mile trek to Bible Study Fellowship, I turned off the radio to speak with God.
"Okay, Lord, I know you are glorious and I want to begin with praise, but before I forget, I'd like to pray for the lady who lost her son this year. I know she's hurting and since I'm 55 and will forget to pray for them later, I'm letting you know now. I know You understand."
Then I noticed the fog resting in the valley alongside Pilot Mountain. My grandmother's favorite scripture came to mind—Psalm 121:1-4:
"I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep."
"Thanks, Lord for the mountains and all the creatures on them. When I view your creation, it makes me appreciate and love you more. And by the way, I'm glad You don't sleep."
Our conversation ebbed and flowed and contained times of relaxed silence. What I'm trying to say is that it was comfortable. I'm getting to know Him better and I'm glad.
Moses next request in verses 14-16 was for the Lord to go with Him. In fact, he tells the Almighty that if He doesn't go with Him, Moses would rather not go.
I'm praying the same. Often in the rush of the morning, I forget my dependence on Him. I rush off with my agenda in hand instead of His presence—not only that, when I don't depend on His presence I only have my power, which is puny.
My desire is to experience the joy of His presence and the strength of His guidance.
Moses' final request is in verse 18 when He asks God to show him His glory. And God says yes.
That is a big prayer. It was so big that God had to hide Moses in the cleft of the rock and only showed him His back. (I can't wait to see that instant replay in heaven.)
I'm praying big prayers, too. How will He answer?
I don't know. I do know one thing, if I can figure out how He's going to do it, that's not how He will.
And that's okay by me.
Copyright © 2015, Pauline Hylton, used by permission.
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Pauline Hylton is a freelance writer and newbe farmer who lives outside of Mayberry on an old tobacco farm. She and her husband Tom are raising vegetables, 75 spoiled hens, 3 dogs, 3 kittens, and 4 pigs. She's also selling homemade salsa, pesto, and jellies. Her 94-year-old Mama lives with them and shares in this new life. Pauline's investing in heaven while living on earth. She loves her Lord, her family, and dark chocolate—not necessarily in that order.
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