I have a new favorite drink: Route 44 Diet Cokes with six lemon wedges. Not two. Not ten. Six is the perfect amount. If the Sonic folks do the squeezing, I get extra happy. My favorite Sonic location is on the way to my church and to the school where I work part-time, so I must confess I go through their drive-thru a little too much.
But one thing about frequenting the same place often, I get to know the workers, and they recognize me. It feels good to be known, doesn't it?
The other day, I whipped through the drive-thru and was greeted by Melissa, the shift manager. She's always extra friendly and attentive. She has to set a good example for her crew, you know. Normally, we exchange pleasantries, but this day, I sensed the Lord nudging me to say more.
I reached in my purse and handed her a prayer card. (I'll tell you more about those later).
"Melissa, I just want you to know I'm going to pray for you as I drive to work. Anything I can pray for you about? Her blue eyes softened, and she took a deep breath and leaned my way.
"Oh, would you? Please pray for my mom. She's having surgery to remove melanoma. I'd so appreciate you praying for her."
"You bet I will!" I promised as I pulled away. And I did. Not only did I pray that day, I prayed the next day when I passed by on my way to Celebrate Recovery. And the next week when I rolled through the drive-thru for yet another Diet Coke with six lemon wedges. I would say Melissa's momma got prayed for at least four times. The Sonic served as a mental monument to remind me to pray for her.
I tried to get an update on her mom, but I can't seem to catch Melissa there. But, sense my affinity for Diet Cokes with lemon wedges doesn't seem to be diminishing, I'm sure I'll see her one of these days.
When I think of all the places I visit regularly, the "pray without ceasing" opportunities are endless. Friends, we can impact our communities for Christ one prayer at a time. We just have to ask God to keep our eyes open.
I'll be honest... some days, prayer is the last thing on my mind. Often, I find myself pulling in to my destination without one memory about the trip.
But, every once in a while, I quiet my frazzled mind long enough to listen to God's quiet direction. When I take the time to listen and then actually obey....man! There's nothing more precious than feeling used by God to touch a life...even a stranger's life.
So...as you go about your day, ask the Lord to show you those cashiers, attendants, baggers, tellers and work-out trainers you see day-after-day. Take a minute to learn their names and give them a smile and a kind word (and whatever else the Lord tells you to do).
Lord, may we never get in such a hurry that we fail to see the people we meet day-to-day. Open up doors for ministry...doors we never dreamed possible. Use small acts of Holy Spirit-inspired love and prayer to change this world for You. In Jesus' Name, AMEN and AMEN!
Have you ever promised prayers to a service worker? I'd love to hear about it! If you haven't, why not try it today!
It was a decluttering kind of morning for the Wonder Twins and me. Juan and Lulu, the housecleaners, are coming, and if we leave anything out, they will put it away...ummm....very creatively. As-in, never to be found again.
As I bustled around tossing trash and filing away random papers, I sensed God doing the same thing to my soul. I'm cluttered, friends. Cluttered with worries. Cluttered with insecurities. Cluttered with lies. Cluttered with sin. I bet I'm not alone in this condition. Anyone else?
Thankfully, God's a lot like Juan and Lulu... when we let Him have control of our soul clutter, He makes it disappear... that is, until we manufacture some more. Why do we do that???
The key to clutter is to stay on top of it and not to let it pile up. One of my favorite go-to prayers comes straight from God's Word: "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24 NIV).
It's a prayer we can't pray too much. The more we allow God free-rein (and reign) in our hearts, the more he'll keep our soul surfaces free of worries and full of peace. Free of insecurities and full of God-confidence. Free of lies and full of truth. Free of sin and full of right living.
Does your soul need some decluttering, too? Let's go to Jesus.
My soul is not in tip-top shape. Please forgive me for letting so much yuck pile up. This is not Your best for me. Please, declutter my soul and cover it with Your joyful fingerprints.
"Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24 NIV).
I am worried.
Worried about the future. Worried about things that may not even happen. Worried about things I can't control.
I hear you, Lord, urging me to cast those cares on You like a heavy stone thrust into a deep pond (1 Peter 5:7). I hear You say to me, "Seek first [My] kingdom and [My] righteousness, and all [your needs] will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33 NIV).
I am feeling insecure.
I've been leaning on my own strength, my own skills, my own smarts, and, oh, how I fall short!
I hear You, Lord, urging me to rest under the shadow of Your wing (Psalm 17:8). I hear You say to me, "Beloved, rest secure in [Me], for [I will shield you] all day long, and the one [I love] rests between [My] shoulders” (Deuteronomy 33:12 NIV).
I am believing lies.
You'll never change. You're not worth fighting for. Your future's bleak.
I hear You, Lord, urging me to listen to the Voice of Truth (John 8:32). I hear You, Almighty God, say to me, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him” (Luke 9:35 NIV).
I am cluttered up with sin.
Pride. Unbelief. Bitterness. Jealousy. Idolatry. Ugly words and even uglier thoughts. Please forgive me as I turn from these festery, defeating things.
I hear You, Lord, urging me to let You wash me clean (Psalm 51:7). I hear You say to me, “I [don't] condemn you; go and sin no more” (John 8:11 NKJV).
It's funny, Lord. The more I hear You, the less I hear the accuser's taunts. The more access I give You to my soul, the more beautiful it becomes. Keep decluttering, Lord, until every surface shines with Your likeness.
In the powerful, purifying name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN
What's cluttering your soul? I'd love to pray for you.