The Encouragement Prayer

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I love the works of Catherine Marshall. One of the many lessons her books have taught me is that we can experiment with prayer. At first, that concept sounded wrong to me, as if prayer was something we use to figure out how to manage God. That’s not what she meant at all. Rather, prayer is something we keep learning about, a part of our lives that can continue to develop over time. Experimenting with prayer simply means we can keep learning to pray in different ways and to ask for different things. Here is the latest lesson I have learned

It’s okay to ask for encouragement. That sounds obvious to some of you. To others, it may sound selfish. But here’s the truth: the Lord who loves us has instructed us to ask for anything in his name and according to his will. I have no doubt that it is within his will for us to have encouragement. Sometimes, I come to a place where I just need a healthy dose of it.

When I ask for encouragement, I always receive it—not always on my timeline, not always in the way I expect or would even choose, but always. I wish I had learned the importance of this simple request earlier in life. Yes, of course, the Lord blessed me with encouragement before I ever began to ask for it. But now I know to ask. And after the asking comes the fun of receiving, of watching and waiting and then remembering how he answered my prayer.

Sometimes the encouragement comes as that still small voice within, just a knowing that the task at hand is an important one and that the Lord will see me through it. Sometimes it’s the lyrics of a song, up next on Pandora just when I need to hear it, or something I read, or a well-timed phone call from a friend.

Do you need encouragement today? If so, I hope you will stop reading right now and ask the Lord for it. And once it comes, I hope you’ll share with me the story of your answered prayer. We serve a mighty God, fully able to equip us with everything we need—including the encouragement to continue in all he has asked us to do!

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