Today was day 14 of the 40-day prayer challenge that I’m participating in, and so far it has been amazing!! Definitely one of my best decisions during quarantine, that’s for sure.
This morning when I woke up, something interesting happened… I completely forgot that it was Saturday! I normally wake up on Saturday thinking I can go back to bed, but not today. My first thought, immediately after waking up, was “it’s time to pray.” I was up for a good ten minutes before I even remembered that it was the weekend.
I wanted to take a quick minute to share that with you because I think it’s so significant… what you do in the morning can affect your whole day. Rather than waking up to the news, or social media, or even just your own negative thoughts, you can set your whole day on the right track if you take the time to focus on Christ.
During the prayer challenge, I’ve made it my goal to be up and on my knees at 7:14 am no matter how tired I am. There have been some days that I went back to bed 10 minutes later, but I’ve really tried to keep my appointment with God– 7:14 sharp.
Getting myself in that routine (even though it’s not my ideal routine because I’ve been *trying* to get up at 5:00 am) has been so impactful for me because it adds excitement to my prayer time. It adds a holy anticipation, knowing that I have a meeting with God. Even though He doesn’t require us to set up an appointment or go through a secretary, there is still something special about making a commitment and then following through with it.
So… what is the first thing you think about in the morning? Time to survive another day? I hope I can meet that deadline? How many new cases of the coronavirus are there today?
So many times during this quarantine, I’ve found myself falling into different pits of negative thinking. Sometimes it’s loneliness; sometimes it’s fear; sometimes it’s just allowing myself to get bogged down by the unknowns of this season. But Romans 12:2 says this:
“Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”
Don’t allow the negative thoughts to rule over you, but rather take every thought captive to obey Christ! We need to renew our minds by staying in His Word and having the mindset that “it’s time to pray.” Not “it’s time to worry” or “it’s time to freak out.”
Last year at church camp, there was this girl who gave her testimony and she said something that I haven’t forgotten: “If we’re going to end up at the feet of Jesus in the end anyway, then why don’t we start there?” It struck me when she said it because it’s so convicting and true. Why do we struggle for so long before we go to God? Why don’t we just save ourselves the time and effort and bring our burdens to Him in the first place?
It’s going to be hard if you’re fighting anxiety on your own. Fighting self-doubt on your own might just make you doubt yourself more. And fighting loneliness alone is only going to make you lonelier! But we have a God who welcomes us into His presence whenever and wherever we start thinking negative thoughts. We don’t have to struggle before we go to God, and we certainly don’t have to clean ourselves up before we go to God. We can go to God first!
In these trying times of the coronavirus, we need to remember where our hope comes from. We need to constantly renew our minds so that we don’t get weighed down by the concerns of the world.
I don’t know how long this quarantine is going to last…
I don’t know if our lives will ever go back to normal…
I don’t know how far we are from the end of this race…
But friends, let’s not be discouraged by the unknowns. Let’s renew our minds and cling to what we do know:
We still have a reason to sing– more like 10,000 reasons!
Pain may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning. The joy of the Lord is our strength!
No matter how dark the tunnel is right now or how many twists and turns we’re having to endure, we can rest assured that we’re going to see the light because no tunnel can dim the Light of the world!
The battle is the Lord’s–if you are in Christ, then your war is already won! We don’t fight for victory, we fight FROM victory.
The pain that this pandemic and quarantine is causing — the dread — the disappointment — the questions — it’s just the dark before the morning. A day is coming when all of this will be no more… when we will see Jesus face to face!
(Psalm 121:1-2 CSB)
Take your eyes off the problem and instead turn them to Jesus! Let Him renew your mind. Go to God first rather than last!
It’s time to pray.