Betty and her husband had moved to a new pastorate and she found the jobs she usually did were already filled with qualified dedicated people. She felt useless, and even began resenting the people who were serving. She says she now says this to her shame.
One Sunday evening, Betty asked the Lord what He wanted her to do. God spoke clearly to her spirit: "Pray for your husband."
When she shrugged that off with the response, I already pray for him, the Lord added, "Pray for him every day" and further impressed her to pray a minimum of five minutes each day for him.
It seemed like such a small thing. Five minutes a day should be a cinch. She soon discovered how wrong she was. Five minutes seem so insignificant it was easy to procrastinate. "As soon as I finish the breakfast dishes, I will pray," or "After I take my daughter to her music lesson." or "I will get this casserole in the oven, and then I'll pray...."
Time after time the day ended and she tumbled into bed with an apology offered to the Lord and a promise to do better tomorrow.
It soon became apparent that if her call to prayer was ever going to be answered consistently, she would have make an appointment for it on her daily calendar and adjust her schedule. By trial and error she learned it had to be at the top of her day's activities, even if that meant getting out of bed earlier every day. By having a regular time at the beginning of the day, she was able to overcome her tendency to procrastinate. She soon discovered, however, that finding time was only the first hurdle in her new assignment.
Praying for five minutes was not new to her. Staying with one subject for the entire five minutes was something else. After a few sentences, she had said it all. It took discipline to continue praying for her husband for five minutes, especially when there was no obvious need for prayer. He wasn't sick and wasn't experiencing any noticeable problems.
Betty says that the Holy Spirit was trying to teach her to allow Him to pray through her. Several years later her morning prayers lengthened from five minutes to an hour or more and are the most productive time of the day. No, it's not always easy to roll out of bed when her tired body is trying to tell her she needs more rest. But the benefits gained in her early morning meetings with the Lord far outweigh the sacrifices involved.
It's exciting for her to recount the many answers to prayer since she began to take this prayer time seriously. Now she has a ministry she can take with her from one pastorate to another.
Dear Lord, give me the prayer assignments You want me to have.
"Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle." (Ps. 144:1).