I found the book last fall. Covered in brown fabric, the title inside the front cover is written in Sharpie: Prayers and Ponderings. 9/79 — 12/88. Nine years.

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The prayers and ponderings are mostly short. Just 1-2 pages per month to determine the focused prayers and goals for that specific season. November 1979’s page includes a new prayer focus at the bottom:


That’d be me. Though I was no bigger than a bean, my mom was already praying for me.

Just below that is prayer for Cambodians, Russian Christians, hostages, and President Carter.

Nothing too small, nothing too big. She prayed.

And while there are many jotted notes here and there (PTL!, better :), promising!, house sold!, recovering!) most of these short prayers have a long view of God’s promises.

I believe I’m still reaping the benefits now, more than 35 years later.

My discouragement in prayer is most often due to not seeing quick answers. Certainly I do see some immediate answers, which serves as a spiritual shot-in-the-arm for my faith. But there’s no getting around that a great portion of our prayers requires a great willingness to wait for the fulfillment.

We must have a long view of prayer.

What encourages me about my mom’s prayer journal, is her consistency month after month, year after year.  Other than my wedding ring, I don’t think I’ve kept any item for 9 years, let alone a journal! She kept this same journal for nine years. In this way you could see gradual changes over the years.

And I love that her prayers are rather simple, short. To the point.

Jesus made it clear: Prayers aren’t answered due to length or clever word-choice.

Prayers are answered when they’re prayed in humility and faith. Humility bows us low and alines our will with His will, faith is what leads us to reach up and grasp His will. Like the woman who crept low through the crowd to grasp the hem of his garment, we lower ourselves and reach out.

We take hold of His promises, we take hold of His power, we take hold of His provision.

Everything we need is available to us, through prayer.

My mom’s prayer journal is a beautiful example to me of a commitment to a long view of short prayers. What simple habit can you embrace that will help you do the same? 

A few moments ago my phone alarm went off and the screen read: “Pray with Mom.” Every day it goes off at the same time. Every day I call. She answers, still groggy from sleep. We pray. It’s brief–just 5 minutes, but together we agree with God and reach out together for His promises, His power, His provision.

Together we take a long view of short prayers.

And my hope is that these short morning prayers last a long time. Because just as it is with exercise, parenting, and basically anything else worth doing–consistency is key. You may not pray for an hour, but if you pray for 5 minutes every single day, something glorious will happen in the long haul.

 {Thanks for reading.}

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