Praying Simple Prayers

My church, Church of the Highlands, observes 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer starting the first Sunday of each January. This time of the year, and when we do it in August are always a tremendous blessing for me. It’s also a challenge too. I’ll be the first to admit that when taking spiritual gifts assessments, the gift of intercession (prayer) isn’t on the top of my list. I don’t know if it’s on my list at all, as other gifts are what I’ve been given. I’m so okay with that, because I know I know how to talk to my Daddy (God) in my own special way, and I know I know some people who REALLY know how to go the distance for themselves and others like me because intercession is their undeniable, number one gift. What a blessing!

With that said, I’m a simple prayer girl. I try to talk to God throughout the day, much like I would talk to a friend. Often it’s sporadically (with the exception of our “Good morning. Thank You, Jesus” chit chat early each day), and often it’s as things happen, right off the cuff whether in the car, at work, or in the shower, and it’s mumbled from my mouth or urgently delivered straight-forward to Him like He’s right there with me (and He is), as situations are unfolding. I cover the biggies in life regarding my loved ones and me and want to become even more disciplined and strategic about that, but I also want to be even more intentional about coming to Him regarding things perceived to be not so big of a deal. God cares about us, which means He cares about it all, big or small. No thing is too simple to pray about and believe God’s best concerning.

Have you ever thought about praying for the following for yourself (or others)?

  • Rejuvenating sleep and set aside time of rest regularly
  • A trusted, committed (inexpensive) babysitter
  • A drama-free day
  • A supportive team player in the greatest area of need
  • An extra measure of peace
  • An opportunity to ride on the passenger side not always having to drive
  • Needed items on BOGO (buy one, get one) at Publix
  • Meaningful talk time with spouse and/or children in the car or at home
  • Things to work or last longer than they’re expected to (think cars, washing machines, air conditioners, hair styles and the like)
  • An unavoidable opportunity to finally say “I’m sorry” or say “I accept your apology”
  • Peace, support and effectiveness for your supervisor
  • Regular opportunities to exercise with no exceptions or excuses
  • A chance to meet a need or surprise someone with something special
  • An easy, breezy bedtime routine with children or babies
  • Quick, easy, delicious, affordable meals for your family each night
  • A friend (as in God sends one)
  • Waking before the alarm sounds
  • Family dinners at the table sans the technology
  • More energy
  • Favor with things you need (or even things you want)
  • Enough time and the wisdom to use it to balance what’s on your plate
  • An automatic smile on your face as your natural response to life




I Won’t Complain

There’s a popular gospel song of old by Rev. Paul Jones called “I Won’t Complain”.

Take a listen…

Growing up I loved the song, and thought that the concept of not complaining was cool, but impossible. If I didn’t like something I complained. If I didn’t like someone or something someone did I complained. If I didn’t like what was prepared for me for dinner from my parent’s hard earned money, I complained (under my breath, not audibly though, because Daddy and Mama didn’t raise “no fool”).

Well, here we are today and I’m pleased to say that I don’t complain nearly as much as I used to. Trials and tribulations have taught me to keep my mouth closed of complaints and be grateful. Still, I have little spurts of complaining that I want to break up with now. So, during my Church of the Highlands annual 21 days of prayer and fasting this month I decided to give up colas and complaining. 

I guess the nature of a sacrifice is that it’s sacrificial. It costs something. With that said, and since deciding to give up sodas I’ve seen more Coke Zero this week than I’ve seen all summer. I even attended a potluck lunch and one of the cool, refreshing beverages being offered was “red” Kool-aid (which I love) spiked with Sprite (which I also love).

And then wouldn’t you know it. This season of life has been dishing me some obstacles with which to deal. I’m okay with that, as I’ve been in what seems like an ongoing relationship with testimony building tests for more than a decade. However, I, at least was able to voice my “concerns” (code word for refined complaints) about what was going on whether to someone who would listen, or simply to myself. But until August 23, and hopefully much, much longer than that I can’t because I won’t complain.


The caution in avoiding complaints has caused me to really evaluate what comes to my mind and out of my mouth. It’s been warm in Birmingham, Alabama this week. Two days in a row when I’ve gotten in my car the temperature read higher than 98. Rather than complaining about how hot it was I had to think strategically about focusing more on the fact that I have a car with air which cools really quickly and even whisper a prayer for those who don’t or work outside like landscapers. Rather than complain about the long trek in to work I chose to look at it as an opportunity to hear my Donnie McClurkin CD for a bit longer. When washing my hair the other day rather than complain about the greys that keep popping up I thought to view it as a fine time to choose a spicy new color to debut once I finally reveal my own tresses to the masses again. Rather than complain about finances or not having all I want I excitedly sent a text message to a friend to let her know that one of our restaurants Jake’s has coupons in the mail and I have two sets.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a habitual whiner, and I really try to see the good in all things. Don’t get me wrong either in thinking that being that ways is easy or comes naturally. It doesn’t come easily or naturally. Fasting from complaining when I know it’s one of those little things that hangs on in what would appear to be a harmless way is why I’ve chosen to fast from it. My prayer is that hopefully the view of gratitude becomes my main focus regardless of what’s going on, whether good, bad or too much to tell. Rev. Paul Jones said it best for me:

I’ve had some good days
I’ve had some hills to climb
I’ve had some weary days
And some sleepless nights
But when I look around
And I think things over
All of my good days
Out-weigh my bad days
I won’t complain