Focus – “How Am I Doing, God?”
by Lt. Colonel Mervyn Morelock (R) –
Whisper a prayer in the morning,
Whisper a prayer at noon.
Whisper a prayer in the evening,
To keep your heart in tune.
God answers prayer in the morning,
God answers prayer at noon.
God answers prayer in the evening,
For Jesus is coming soon.
I was reminded of this old Sunday school chorus recently while reading an article by Max Lucado in the Discipleship Journal. His new book, Just like Jesus, has a chapter describing the life of Frank Laubach, who developed the Laubach method of literacy education that is in use today on nearly every continent. At age 45, he resolved to live in “continuous inner conversation with God and in perfect response to his will.” He died at age 86. His prayer journal revealed his lifelong quest to live in perfect communion and harmony with God. Often through the day he would whisper, “Am I in your will, Lord? Am I pleasing you, Lord?”
Most of us are not hesitant to ask God for things like money protection, a new job, a raise in salary, health, a new car, etc. But rarely do we ask, “How am I doing, God? Am I living and doing every day what you want me to do with my life here on earth?”
Lucado writes, “Imagine considering every moment as a potential time of communion with God. By the time your life is over you will have spent six months at stoplights, eight months opening junk mail, a year and a half looking for lost stuff, and a whopping five years standing in various lines. Why don’t you give these moments to God? By giving God your whispering thoughts, the common becomes the uncommon. Simple phrases such as ‘Thank you, Father;’ ‘Be sovereign in this hour O Lord;’ ‘You are my resting place, Jesus;’ can turn a commute into a pilgrimage.” Giving time to prayer is an essential for the Christian.
Recently we went to see the movie, “The Horse Whisperer.” I tried to discover where they got the title, since I never saw Robert Redford ever “whisper” to the horse! But I was amazed at the patience and positive influence that he had on the horse, the lady and her daughter. He had a special kind of quiet patience in dealing with impossible problems. His family said that he had “the gift.” A gift that calmed a frightened, injured horse, helped a confused and driven woman and her rebellious daughter. Shouting was never part of the therapy. God speaks to us in quietness that we might have peace and righteousness.
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. Isa. 32:17 (NIV)
When we talk to God, even in almost inaudible prayer, he hears and answers. We’ve heard public speakers, pastors, evangelists and leaders shout their prayers. One little girl, after hearing the preacher shout a prayer, asked her mother, “Mommy, is God dead?” We’ve heard extemporaneous prayers, written prayers, rehearsed prayers and even stammering, stumbling prayers. But there are no words so moving as the whispered prayer of the penitent; “I’m so sorry, God. I’ve sinned. Save me, please, and forgive me.”
Call to Prayer Partner Margaret Marx, age 72, from the Escondido Corps, recently sent several prayers of thanksgiving for God’s love and his answers to prayer. An excerpt:
“Dear Lord, I love you so. I see your face all through the day, and in the night, my dreams are of you. I love you so…I love you so.
God bless the day I found my peace,
With smiles and laughter on its way.
I’ll follow you…dear Lord, I love you so.”
A line that Christian vocalist Christie Jamison sings in her recent song, “Only a Whisper Away,” focuses on the perfect harmony and communion with our Lord that we ought to desire. She sings, “You are closer to me than the air I breathe.” May the daily whisper of our prayers, “morning, noon and night,” be as intimate and as much a part of our being as “the air we breathe.”