Day 3 - January 29th, 2019 - Madeline
I have a confession… I forgot to pray for the people on my list yesterday. It wasn’t for lack of thinking about it, because I talked about Awaken Nashville and thought about it multiple times yesterday, but I never actually prayed for the people on my list.
I thought about it first thing this morning, and my heart sank a little. I have been so excited about committing myself to this season of prayer and fasting, and I was so disappointed that by Day 2 I had already missed a day of praying for the names entrusted to me. It felt almost like I had cheated them out of a day’s worth of blessing because I had forgotten to go to God on their behalf.
Okay, okay, I know that’s not how prayer works, but that’s how it felt. The more I thought about it, I realized that I was putting way too much stock into my performance. This month is not about my perfect record of prayer or fasting flawlessly — it is about submitting to the power of God and seeking Him. Wow. I hope that releases some pressure for you like it did for me.
In Revival Starts Here, Dave Clayton compares our attempts at prayer and fasting to his sons learning to walk. When a child starts to transition from crawling to walking, everyone is excited and encouraging. When the child falls or trips, the parents don’t get angry, they don’t scold the child, and the child doesn’t stop trying to walk. The parents simply help the child back up.
That is what God does with us. Thank God that His goodness does not rely on our perfection. We are not going to be perfect at this. You will miss a day. You will break your fast. You will pray your only prayer for the day half-heartedly as you go to sleep, BUT that does not mean we give up.
Figure out what works for you. Maybe you will just never be a morning person, so stop setting your alarm a half hour early to pray and being disappointed when it doesn’t happen. I’m speaking from personal experience, if you couldn’t already tell! If that works well for you, that’s amazing. If it doesn’t, find what does! But don’t beat yourself up when you sleep through the early alarm.
As you continue to learn to walk, let God pick you up and dust you off. Don’t stop walking because you are afraid of falling down. Everyday is a new chance to recommit yourself to praying and believing for revival in the hearts of those in our city! I am thankful for Day 3 because it is a new opportunity. It’s another chance for me to pray for my people. Thankfully, Day 4 and all the days following provide that same opportunity.
My prayer today is not only for those on my list, but for you as well. I pray that you will have grace for yourself when you fall down. I pray that you will have the humility to let God pick you up when you do, and I pray that you will have the persistence to get back up when you fall down again.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, persistent in prayer.