“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I love mission trips! I love the excitement of participating. I love seeing how God miraculously changes lives. But the highlight of every trip is watching God answer prayers. I have seen the power of prayer over and over again as God has answered prayers for salvation experiences, for travel mercies, for team members, for those back home, for weather, and for so much more. On the recent trip to Central Asia God had something important about prayer that He wanted to remind me of, and He used a unique way to get my attention.
One afternoon I was busy preparing for the children’s carnival that was scheduled in a few hours. The youngest children were taking naps and the older ones were swimming. We had a small window of time to get this carnival set up.
One of the preschoolers was not settling down so she was brought into the room where I was setting up. We had no toys in there for her age, but I remembered that I had brought a few matching card sets that she might enjoy. While she patiently watched me, I looked everywhere but couldn’t find them. I was beginning to get frustrated. Suddenly I felt a tug on my shirt. My little friend asked me what I was looking for. When I finished explaining, she asked a question that quickly got my attention. She asked, “Have you asked Jesus to help you find it?” I confessed that I hadn’t and asked her if she would like to do that for me. She immediately went over to a chair, sat down, bowed her head, and prepared to pray. Suddenly she looked up and said, “What’s your name and what are we looking for?” I replied, “Miss Julie, and we’re looking for some matching card sets.” She again bowed her head and sweetly asked Jesus to help Miss Julie find the cards she is looking for. Within seconds a location popped into my head, and when I checked there, the cards were found. We both thanked Jesus and she went off happily to play with the cards.
I was so humbled. Here I was scrambling around trying to fix a problem myself, instead of bringing that simple frustration to Jesus to take care of. It took a child to remind me that He wants us to come to Him for everything! He wants us to ask desperate prayers when we’re frantically running to airplanes that we are about to miss. He wants us to ask dependent prayers for our luggage to arrive on time. He wants us to pray for impossible weather issues. But he really wants us to be ‘praying unceasingly’ throughout our days, and then He will be the One we always turn to first before frustration sets in.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I am so thankful for a young child who God used to remind me of that.