Over the past five months, there has been a constant battle inside of me. Some days, I feel like it’s the refinement of my Lord. Other days, I feel like Satan’s armies are coming after me. Many days, I have a hard time discerning which one is taking place.
There are a handful of things I know for sure.
God has our family in the exact place that he wants us to be. I would be lying if I said this was fun every day. At some point in the future, we may understand why God has us commuting to a small town. Maybe we never will; that’s up to God. We love Jesus more and continue to press forward. God is more gracious than I could possibly imagine.
We still do not know what our future holds. I pray about this daily. In fact, multiple times throughout the day. I wonder why God has given me specific passions, but I haven’t seen them come to fruition. God is teaching me that his sovereignty reigns in our lives and ministry efforts; this will never change.
Prayer is the most important thing we do. I want to be more specific, not just praying but praying out loud. I always remember the words of Matthew 7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
I bank on these two verses to get me through life, parenting, ministry and everything else my hands mess up. However, I sit in the quietness of my random location and silently talk to God like I’m embarrassed to be seen with him in public.
Too often, I do not implement the words of Ephesians 6, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
The powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil cannot read my mind. Those powers and forces do not know what I gave to God unless they hear my voice. Equally, those powers and forces cannot hear that I have asked God to do battle on my behalf unless they hear my prayers.
I am learning that wearing the full armor God includes praying out loud. I have learned that praying out loud does so many things in our lives, but I will give you just four.
- Praying out loud grows and stretches us as followers of Jesus. Those spiritual powers and forces of evil do a pretty job of convinces us we don’t need to or cannot do this.
- Praying out loud passes the importance of prayer to the younger generation living in our home.
- Praying out loud does spiritual battle like no other thing. I learned years ago that prayer walking my home was vital to the spiritual growth of my family. This truth applies on many levels.
- Praying out loud grows and stretches our churches. This is true for the same reasons as number one.
I encourage you to begin the practice of praying out loud for 2-5 minutes every day and let God expand that as he shapes your life.
I’m sure this only begins to touch the surface. What are some the benefits you have experienced by praying out loud?