Day 18 of 40 Days to Celebrate the King: Praying Hard

Day 18 of 40 Days to Celebrate the King: Pray HARD

Today’s reading is Psalm 138 and Isaiah 62

It’s 3AM and I am sitting in a little nook of a VRBO in Vevay, Indiana. Vevay is an Ohio River town that lies somewhere between quaint and grungy. Not a lot to see or do, and not even close to a lot to see or do. So far, the highlights of the town have been the Hometown IGA that has a limited supply of fresh vegetables but all the Breyers Ice Cream you could ever want, and where we learned to pronounce the name of the town, (It is pronounced VE-VE by the way.) and the Swiss Wine museum which is on the list of “must-sees” when visiting Vevay. We haven’t been there yet but I’m sure Doris will be up bright and early, raring to go. There is also the giant rubber duck sign that begs for a group picture. And there is some kind of steam plant right across the river that I’m sure will be a topic of conversation as it belches white smoke over our morning walk.  But Doris and I didn’t come for the scenery or the attractions. We came for the friends.

Every year, the week after Thanksgiving, we meet in some little place like this with two other couples that we have known and loved for over 40 years. Sam and Kathy live in Michigan. Keith and Toni live in Ohio. We are from Tennessee. Vevay, Indiana is somewhere near the center point between those three places. So, here I am. 3AM. VRBO in Vevay. When we meet we laugh a lot. We eat a lot. We talk a lot. We’ll go for a walk every day when the weather permits. The girls will squeeze in a shopping trip. (That will be a challenge in Vevay.) One day we plan to go to The Ark Encounter in Northern Kentucky. But the main reason we travel each year to get together is for the spiritual connection, the long Bible studies in front of the fireplace, and for the prayer.

These two couples are couples that we believe in. They have prayed for us and we have prayed for them for a long, long time. We know each other’s kids by name. We know their spouses. We know their grandkids and how they did in baseball last year, and who is about ready to get a learner’s permit. We know how to pray for each other. So, we pray. We pray when parents pass away. We pray when adult kids change churches. We pray when surgery is scheduled. And when jobs (or retirement) are frustrating. We pray for each other. Not just casual, “I’ll pray for you,” kind of prayers but deep, heartfelt, hard prayers. Prayers with passion sometimes tears, and always from our hearts. Hard praying sometimes repeats the same requests over and over again. Sometimes just groans. Hard praying doesn’t necessarily have a beginning time or an ending time. It just breaks out in the middle of a devotional time and ends when it ends. Doris and I travel each year to places like Vevay, to meet some people that will join us in hard praying.

Isaiah 62 is about hard praying. It is both the lament and the hope of a group of people that have been praying for the restoration of Jerusalem for a long, long time. Isaiah says things like, “I will not keep silent. I will not stop praying for Jerusalem until her righteousness shines like the dawn.” (verse 1). He says, “I have posted watchmen by the gate and they will pray day and night.” (verse 6) He is even so brash as to say in verse 7, “Give the Lord no rest.” Pray until you either get on God’s nerves or He answers you. Now, that’s some hard praying. And what is the goal of that praying? For Jerusalem to be prepared and made ready for the Savior of the World to come.

Come to think of it, that’s what Sam and Kathy, and Keith and Toni, and Doris and I pray about mainly. That our hearts, and the hearts of our children, and our children’s children would be made ready for the Coming of the Savior. I can think of nothing better to pray hard about, especially as we Celebrate of the King this Christmas.

Here are some questions for you today:

Who do you pray hard for? Every one of us should have a ready-made list of those people that need us, that count on our prayers.  Our kids, our neighbors, our pastors, need our hard prayers.

Who do you pray hard with? “Where two or three…” “a threefold cord…” that kind of thing. We need people that we know will help us pray. Who are the prayer warriors in your life?

Who do you pray hard to? That question may seem a little funny, but do you pray to a God that you HOPE listens, and who MAY have the power to do something. Or do you pray to the God of Isaiah that has “sworn by His own strength” to come through for you? We don’t pray hard because God isn’t willing. We pray hard because our own hearts need to be centered on Him.

One more question, why in the world did we pick Vevay?


2 Responses to Day 18 of 40 Days to Celebrate the King: Praying Hard

Leave a Reply