“God is great and God is good, and we thank Him for our food. By His hands, we all are fed. Give us, Lord, our daily bread. Amen.”

This little prayer was one of the first dinner prayers I learned growing up (along with the Superman prayer, of course). Along with my parents praying with us before bed, this became the small beginning to my prayer life.

It took me a while to be comfortable praying my own words in front of my family without feeling like I was doing wrong. It took much longer to pray in front of other, and even longer to pray OVER others. Today, my challenge is working towards the confidence to ask others if I can pray for them without being prompted.

I used to see prayer as something that just happened before meals with my family and before I slept to keep away bad dreams or comfort me when I did have them. For a while it seemed boring. I understood that I was talking to God, but I didn’t understand the importance of that. Closing my eyes, bowing my head, and droning on just didn’t seem so interesting to me.

To be completely honest, I still have a hard time sitting through prayers sometimes. I can’t keep my eyes shut, because I get distracted and zone out. But I think I understand a good bit more now how significant it is that I get to talk to our Father whenever I want.

My favorite memories of prayer are the times I sit and journal, talk to God, and write down our conversations. Next to those are the times I don’t know what to say, but I can just sit with Him, knowing He hears my heart. Singing, worship, and playing guitar are another one of my favorite ways when my heart is heavy and I need a reminder that He is orchestrating everything. And for those times I sit with my head bowed and pray (with my eyes open), I know now that it doesn’t have to be perfect and I can stumble as much as I need to over my words. He appreciates when we are real and genuine with Him, and that’s beautiful.

I have been so blessed to see the Lord’s provision and faithfulness to my prayers repeatedly. I can easily name off multiple times whereHe has absolutely floored me with His blessing. I have proof in my life that He hears me. Admittedly, I still have a hard time with some prayers. Despite the fact that I have seen the Father listens to me and continuously provides, I still allow doubt to creep in when I receive prayer for healing. I know how beautiful it is to see the result of prayers being answered, but I also understand the pain of going for prayer dozens of times and wondering why.

Prayer is significant. It’s incredible. It can be simple. It can be mind-boggling. It can be difficult. But it is a conversation with our Father no matter what. That. is. so. cool.

The last few weeks, God has really been highlighting the importance of this specific part of my relationship with Him. He’s been reminding me what a unique thing it is to be able to communicate with Him in such an intimate way. Not only that, He’s showing me the value of a community where I am surrounded by others that are so willing to stop and join in conversation with Him.

To be honest, it scared me a little at first when I saw in our Receptionist manual “pray with the oncoming Receptionist”. When it didn’t seem to be a common occurrence, I was a bit relieved. But my relief was short-lived. I’m so glad. Honestly, I don’t know if there’s a better way to start an end an 8-hour shift than just talking with God.

Our first day of surgeries, all meetings on the ship were interrupted as one of our surgeons began the day with a prayer over the PA system. How cool, yeah??

As I checked one of our crew members out before their flight home, he stopped (despite the limited time to make it to the airport), called over his wife, and asked if they could pray over a minor injury I have. This was such a significant moment for me, as simple as it was. It meant so much to have someone take important time out of their day just to stop and come before the Lord. I think that helped me understand how much more valuable our time is when we spend it with the Lord.

He is so good.

I love more than anything that we can just sit where we are and thank Him for everything. We can thank Him, cry out to Him, draw close to Him, be brutally honest with Him, and just talk… and we can do it anytime, anywhere, with anyone, and He hears. What an incredible privilege that is.

Father, help me to learn more and more each day the power, beauty, importance, and significance of talking to you.

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