Have you ever unintentionally met someone and had them leave an indelible imprint on your heart? One that will stay with you forever? I first remember meeting Abby in a large quiet hallway at a writer’s conference. As I listened to Abby share her heart about her project and her experience presenting to a publisher I was immediately drawn in. She spoke with such conviction not just of her book’s topic but also of her reader’s heart. This wasn’t just another writer, this was a woman who loves Jesus. Her heart to be with Him is contagiously apparent in her passion to share her journey through her writing. I am so grateful to have met her and am even more honored to host her here today! (We’ll have a little meet and greet after her oh-so-timely post on prayer and walking this life with Him!)
Please Welcome Abby!!
For the One Whose Prayers Are Wearing Thin
I sat on the edge of my seat at the conference, hanging on every word the author was saying. His most recent accomplishment was writing Billy Graham’s memoir, and he recounted the hours spent with this man of God who brought thousands of souls to the Lord.
One afternoon, he didn’t feel like he was getting the substance of the story. He tried to ask the right questions, but nothing seemed to work. Finally, he picked the right one and Rev. Graham lit up.
“How do you keep your spiritual discipline?”
Billy Graham leaned forward as though he was telling the writer a secret. “It’s right there in the scriptures. I spend time in the word. Every day.”
Not just to prepare for a sermon, he went on to explain, but for himself. His Bible lay over on the desk, open.
“And I pray without ceasing.”
I imagine at this point the author’s jaw may have dropped a little.
“Do you really pray without ceasing?” he asked.
As I sat listening, I could have heard a pin drop. The entire audience was riveted.
“I’m praying right now,” Billy Graham responded.
As the author retold the story, his eyes were filled with tears. Mine were too. I felt like I’d just gotten the inside scoop on a headline reading, “This is How You Live a Life for God.” This was the real deal.
Later, as I walked the halls of the hotel during a break, I thought about how often we try to complicate things. And yet here was a man who did exactly what the Bible said, and his life was living proof of God’s anointing on him.
Was it possible to pray without ceasing? Could I replace the continuous conversation in my head with an uplifting conversation with my heavenly Father? I wondered how it would change my own life if I embarked on this journey. To not just talk about the Word, but live it.
A couple of months later, God gave me a glimpse. Not because I was fulfilling these disciplines, but because I was failing.
Our entire family was sick for over a week and I was tired. My Bible sat on the table for days. My prayers grew thin.
As I counted the long hours and dealt with whining babes, my patience wore thin as well. At one point, my temper scared me. I apologized and then immediately cried out to the Lord in prayer.
I’d barely left the house in over a week and I felt like I was suffocating. But in that moment, God gave me a peak into what prayer without ceasing meant. Into what continual time in the Word does.
When we offer up ourselves in prayer in one continuous dance, we allow the Spirit to thrive. We give the Spirit the breath and life it needs to fight against our flesh. Against our selfishness. Against ourselves.
In Romans Paul says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26 ESV)
Even when we do not have the words, if we choose to pray, the Spirit is mediating on our behalf. He knows what to say even if we don’t.
As I continued my day covered in prayer, I could sense a change in my attitude. I was more at peace. Where my flesh was weak, the Spirit was strong.
I realized that this near century old man of God may be onto something. And it was right in front of me all along.
Abby McDonald is mom, a wife and a southern girl, currently living on the mountain side of Maryland, who fell in love with writing at a young age. For most of her life, she never shared her writing with anyone. She started Fearfully Made Mom because she felt God gently pushing her to share her writing with others who may feel alone in their struggles with self-doubt, accepting God’s grace, and finding their identity in Christ. Her desire is to show women they are fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who will relentlessly pursue them, even during their darkest times.
When she’s not chasing her two little boys around, Abby enjoys hiking, photography, reading, and consuming copious amounts of coffee with friends.