A Prayer and a Plan
As it turns out, it’s perfectly appropriate that this month’s blog topic is about prayer – because it’s exactly what God has been teaching me. For the last few months, our family has been in a period of waiting. We’ve had a lot of different things going on and up in the air. It has reminded me of the holding pattern that airplanes get into trying to land at an airport. The plane will circle and circle in the air until the pilot gets the command from the tower that it’s safe and they have a spot to land. The entire time (even while this is a routine part of flying), they must monitor all the normal metrics of flying – altitude, speed, fuel, etc. However, if even one of these things is off, it can make that holding more stressful, like the plane being low on fuel. And of course, the more planes you have in the air, or difficult weather conditions, the task of both the air traffic controllers and the pilots becomes even more difficult. Our family has been feeling this for quite some time. We have a lot going on – much of it out of our control. As soon as one of the “planes” gets to the landing strip, another takes off or an in-flight emergency seems to take over our attention.
Over this time we’ve had a range of emotions, and my husband and I have had a lot of discussions about what if, what next, and where do we go from here? We’ve had many discussions, but, no solutions and very few answers. Our future still looks undecided. But something that’s anchored us through this time is our recognition of the need for prayer. There have been two aspects of prayer that have reverberated and we know will guide us through no matter what.
First, we’ve decided that we must plan to pray. We must be intentional in praying about all these situations and things that are happening. It’s true that prayer can happen at any time, anywhere, and under any circumstances. But having a plan to pray and following through helps us focus our minds and hearts on what is at hand. The scriptures speak of praying with proper motives, being alert, and being devoted in our prayers (Matthew 6:7, Ephesians 6:18, and Colossians 4:2). So, with any circumstance in life, we must plan to pray.
Next, we’ve decided to pray for a plan. With so many things going on, we know that we feel adrift. The future is unknown. There are so many options that it’s overwhelming when we consider where to go or what to do next. We can be worried or anxious about the future, or we can leave the unknown up to the God for whom everything is known. So, we will turn to the Lord for our future. His scriptures tell us not to be anxious and in every situation by prayer to bring those requests to Him (Philippians 4:6-7). So that is what we will choose to do. And, at the proper time, He will guide us on what our plan should be.
Prayer is important not just in the mundane times in our lives but also in the difficult. Through prayer, we open communication with God the Father. Prayer allows us to discern what we need for the future – by planning our prayer time and letting prayer lead us to a plan. So, no matter how many planes are in the air, it is through prayer that we can communicate with God about when to land.
by Heidi Looney