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“How’s your prayer life?” she asked me. My heart immediately sank in recognition that my dear friend’s question came because she knew me. She knew that if I was fighting discouragement, then I was most likely struggling to pray like I needed to, even like I wanted to. My prayer life at that moment certainly couldn’t be described as vibrant. In fact, it couldn’t even be described as consistent.
I’m guessing that you’ve been there. Whether you failed to carve out your daily quiet time or your schedule has been left without margin, life happened, and when discouragement knocked on your door, you flung it wide open. I can understand how easily this happens, but you are not alone. We aren’t the first women in history to work at cultivating a close relationship with the Lord in prayer!
In the Bible, specifically Judges 4 and 5, we read the story of Deborah. She’s a wife, mom, judge, prophetess, and leader of Israel. Talk about a multi-tasker! If anyone has an excuse for not having enough time to spend with the Lord, it’s Deborah. But she has a different perspective; Deborah believes that spending time with God is a priority, especially amid adversity.
The children of Israel had been harshly oppressed for twenty years when Deborah arose to power. Deborah told Barak, the captain of the guard, that God had called him to enter into battle. “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulon and lead them up to Mount Tabor. I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands’” (Judges 4:6 NIV).
But Barak’s faith didn’t match Deborah’s and he replied, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go” (Judges 4:8 NIV).
Deborah had no doubts about what God had spoken to her heart and she fully agreed to go into battle. As a result, God delivered the children of Israel from their oppression through Barak and Deborah. Chapter 5 is their song of prayer, praise, and victory.
Deborah’s introduction and backstory provides a beautiful example of prayer providing confidence. When the crisis peaked, Deborah was prepared because she knew the Lord. She had a history of listening to His voice and recognizing His leading and guidance. This practice enabled her to be calm in the chaos and peaceful through protest. Unrest was not puzzling to her because her peace came from within, not without.
What was the key to Deborah’s confidence? How did she learn to trust the Lord so deeply and securely?
The very last verse of Deborah’s song reveals her prayer secret. Don’t miss it in today’s truth, Judges 5:31, “So may all your enemies perish, Lord! But may all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength.”
Did you catch that? “May all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength.” When you think of the sun, what do you automatically think of? Yes, it’s beautiful. Yes, it’s powerful. But the one attribute of the sun that stands out more than anything is its consistency.
Deborah whispers to our hearts, Do what the sun does each day. Faithfully, day in and day out, the sun does the job God gave it to do, consistently, predictably, without varying. Yes, THIS is the secret to cultivating a strong prayer walk. Simply spend time persistent in prayer. When crisis comes, you will be prepared.
To my friend who asked, “How’s your prayer life?” Thank you. Thank you for reminding all of us that it takes sweet conversation with the Lord, both talking and listening, to secure the confidence we need in times of crisis.
A Prayer for Today
Our Father, sometimes the cares of the day seem to multiply, while the blessings fade so quickly. Our bodies grow tired and our minds even more tired. Jesus, help us. Give us the strength You’ve promised in Your Word. Give us the power to take the next step. Give us Your grace. For we know in our weakness, Your strength is revealed. May we receive it today.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What’s Your Take?
What struggles or solutions have you found to cultivate a meaningful, consistent prayer life? Share them in the comments!