You calm the storm when I hear You call my name.

A few weeks ago, I read Sara Evans’ and Rachel Hauck’s Songbird Novel series and it’s about all the relationships in this woman’s life. Between her parents and in-laws and husband, everyone around her. It’s not just another love story, it’s about life and forgiveness and loss and moving forward through the rough patches. The woman in the book is getting married and doesn’t know whether to invite her mom or not. The mom was talking to her friend about it and said there was too much water under the bridge. And this friend with all her wisdom says: “Come to my house tonight. I’ll loan you my canoe.” I burst into tears right there. No matter what water is under all the bridges life has to offer, I’m so glad for the friendships I have and the knowledge that they always have a canoe for me to borrow. They always keep me afloat.

When the people I love are going through a hard time. When they can’t find the light in the tunnel. When all they need is time. When they need peace. When they need what I can’t give. When they have to pull themselves out of the deep places. When they’re drowning and need a canoe. All I can do is encourage and and be there for them. I had to learn the hard way that as much as I would love to do it for them, I cannot live for them. They have to make the decision to pull themselves out. All I can do is offer my canoe. David Ring said: “It’s one thing to show people love. It’s another thing to stick around for the pain.” I’m here and I’m not going anywhere.

Lord, I am not You. I cannot save people. I cannot give them peace. I cannot heal the pain. I cannot do what You do. But I can be Your hands. I can loan them my canoe. Beth Moore said: “God is not afraid of your questions, girlfriend. He wants to stir them up-to send you searching for answers.” I can pray for them and share with them where I find answers, my canoe. Part of Church of the Highlands’ 21 Days of Prayer is the Warfare Prayer and they talked about how in prayer, we can identify the lies so we can quiet those lies and amplify the truth. At the end of the sermon, the pastor said to ask You to: “give us assignments.” Prayer is a two-way conversation. Even when we hear silence, You are working. You are not done with us yet. There’s a quote I found that says: “Having a rough morning? Place your hand over your heart. Feel that? That’s called purpose. You’re alive for a reason.” Lord, sometimes when we feel lost and unloved, the best thing to do is give love. Sam on Touched by an Angel said: “If you can’t find the love, let God love through you.” 

There is purpose for the pain. At Winter Jam, on Friday, we took the youth group and Tenth Avenue North was telling a story about their song: I Have This Hope. They were talking about why we call it Good Friday and how it’s because of what happened on Sunday. That dropped truth way down into the deepest parts of my soul and of my heart. Lord, sometimes we have to go through what we do not understand because we see the world with a limited view point. We see the world around us, but You see the whole world and everything around it. You hold the whole world in Your hands. You hold me in Your hands. You hold them and us and sinners and everyone in Your hands. You call us by name. You created every part of us for a purpose. You never left us.

So, this is my prayer. Thank you for sending your son. Thank you for the cross. Thank you for hope. Thank you for purpose. Thank you for being there in the flood and fire. Thank you for walking with me. Thank you for calling me by name. Thank you for changing my heart. Thank you for lighting the dark. Thank you for canoes. Thank you for your unending love. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for loving through me. Thank you for letting me love others. Thank you for showing me how to stay through the pain. Thank you for questions and answers and two-way communication. Thank you for assignments. Lord, I pray that I keep going, keep moving forward. I pray that I chase after you and loan my canoe to those I love so they can chase you too. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I’m gonna shout Your name till the walls come falling down.

In The Goodbye Bride by Denise Hunter, she talked about being the kind of woman who is “wearing out the knees in her jeans.” I wanna be that kind of woman. I wanna tackle everything that comes my way in faith. I wanna bring everything to You. I wanna handle every single moment in prayer, the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, and every second in-between. In the 21 Days of Prayer, we learned to make our prayers 1. united 2. scriptural 3. bold, zealous, and fervent. We were also taught to “pray from a position of victory” and “pray from a position of power.” I wanna do more than just take notes on Sunday. I wanna apply those notes to my life. I struggled in school with that. I was real good at learning what I needed to know, but when asked to apply those concepts, I was at a loss for words. I learned how to study and apply concepts in college. Now, I wanna do it to my prayer life.

I heard that: “prayer is the most conversation of the day. Take it to God before you take it to anyone else.” This past Sunday, the devotion we started the morning off with was on prayer. I love when things connect like that. Like how I was praying about Abraham and Sarah and Genesis 16 then that’s we’re gonna discuss next week in Bible study and it is the next story we are gonna focus on in the children’s class. Lord, You have a divine design and You craft every single moment to line up to teach us and for Your master plan. You’re playing Connect Four with our hearts.

Lord, I’ve put walls up somewhere along the way. I thought it was to protect and guard my heart, but really I was just keeping others out. There is a picture on Pinterest that says: “he broke down her walls without her even noticing and when he rebuilt the walls he added windows to let the sunshine in.” I wanna let Your light in, Lord.

So here is my prayer today. I wanna pray the prayer I found in my notes: “God, help me to focus on truth instead of the trial. Help me to give thanks instead of giving into fear. Help me to choose joy instead of anger. Help me to trust in your power instead of my plan. Help me elevate your name instead of my own.” Lord, I pray that I choose you. I pray that I keep choosing you. I pray that you take down my walls and put windows in. I pray that I am open and transparent so others can see you in me. I pray others to see your work in me. I pray others to see your love in me. I pray they see your name written all over my life. I wanna praise you. I wanna worship you. I want to pray from a position of victory and confidence and scripture and boldness and from a place of your power. I pray that the knees are worn out on my jeans because of a lifetime spent in prayer. I pray I pick up my cross and follow you. I pray that I take up residence in a place of healing and freedom and your love. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.