I usually wave my beloved off to work each morning, perched on a large rock on the side of our steep driveway, then run indoors to have breakfast with a good book for company. Recently as my breakfast-time-reading I enjoyed “A Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller. The book taught me, fed my spirit and got me thinking. I usually receive dozens of prayer requests from family and friends. There are times though (I must confess) when I struggle to pray sufficiently for all of those needs. (Discipline, Anusha. Discipline!)
A tool which I’ve found helpful in intercession is my little prayer diary, one which I carry everywhere with me. On its leaves, I list prayer needs sequentially. When I reach the last page, I copy all the unanswered requests into a new prayer diary and repeat the process. The system has worked really well for over 25 years, but lately, my prayer life had become a tad jaded. Paul Miller blessed me with a fresh cocoon of an idea; one which made my heart thump with excitement. Paul uses prayer cards not lists, jotting down the name of a person or topic per card—unsaved friends, people in need, sick folks and the like. A brilliant notion.
I rummaged through my pile of notebooks and found the perfect little diary. I opened it to the first page and wrote my son’s name on it, listing his prayer needs and chose a Bible verse that was just right for him. Next I added family and friends’ names, allocating a few pages to each and including a relevant verse for every person or group. I used four pages to record my own needs, dreams and Bible verses, selecting another two pages for my writing journey.
My sagging prayer life bounced back with a freshness it had lacked for a long while. (Thank you Paul Miller!) I spoke life, hope, health, joy, freedom, purpose, salvation into many hearts and lives. It was interesting to note that the cover of my newest prayer diary had an unusual title. “Write a Story” it declared boldly. Perhaps by talking to God on behalf of others, I was re-writing their lives? What do you think? My night-time reading a few days later was ‘Praying Circles around your Children” by Mark Batterson. It was thrilling to discover that Mark Batterson had the same idea too. Surely God was speaking to me?
“The perfect way to predict your future is to create it.” Abraham Lincoln
Psychologists ask us to envision the future we desire and to create it through visualisation. But that’s a new age concept isn’t it? How does visualisation work? I have no idea. But prayer is different. Prayer works because God is sovereign and cares for His world on a moment by moment basis. Prayer works through the power of the Holy Spirit as He guides us, the body of Christ, to partner with Him as He wills and carries out His purposes in our world. What an honour to be included in God's plans!
You and I will agree that most of our stories are crafted via our computers as we write with our Creator and for Him. But stop for a moment with me and dream a different kind of dream. Perhaps … just perhaps … another kind of story is being birthed, every time you and I pray? Those are the real life stories, being fashioned through intercession—stories whose characters are walking and leaping around the stage of life. Each of these novels might even reach their happy endings because of your prayers and mine. Isn’t that encouraging?
I love writing stories, don’t you?
Tell me about your stories, please, all of them.
And don’t forget … God’s listening too!
Anusha Atukorala is a writer and speaker with music in her heart and a message to proclaim. The abundant love of a faithful God is her theme song. God’s call to writing in 2007 led Anusha on a Grand Adventure which continues to surprise and thrill her. Anusha loves to build the body of Christ and to encourage others through the written and spoken word. Her first book ‘Enjoying the Journey’ is comprised of 75 little God stories.
She has twelve short stories published in Anthologies and lots more in the pipeline. Do drop in to say G’day at her website Dancing in the Rain. She’d love to meet you.