We are now just 30 days from an election that will have massive implications for the future of our country. Voting on November 6th requires clarity in the mind and the heart. Education can bring clarity on the issues to your mind. The only thing that can bring true clarity to your heart is prayer.
Ten days ago, Glenn Beck and Pat Gray started a combined 40 Day / 40 Night Challenge (combining prayer and fasting).
With considerably less fanfare, I joined them... Although, I am just taking part in the prayer portion of this challenge.
Well, to be more specific, last week I started day 802 of a 40 Day / 40 Night Challenge. It has been over two years since I accepted Glenn’s initial 40 Day Challenge in the lead up to 8-28 and “Restoring Honor” back in 2010.
It was the summer of 2010, I was “between opportunities” (that means unemployed), but quite active in the National 912 Project. As Glenn talked about the 8-28 event (“Restoring Honor”) coming to Washington DC, he also stressed that those planning on attending or getting involved in the restoration of the country should prepare by looking inward and restoring the honor within themselves. That meant praying... every single day for the next 40 days. The idea struck a chord with me and on June 18, 2012 I began my journey.
That Friday, I started praying, each morning and each evening. The challenge was to pray daily for 40 days. How tough could that be? Well, speaking as someone who had not prayed regularly for decades (unless it was fear motivated or out of total desperation), I had concerns:
- Would God remember me?
- How long should I pray?
- Is it OK to ask God for stuff?
I started simply… Morning prayers initiated with a “thank you” to God for another chance... another day. And then I simply asked for clarity, patience, direction on where I needed to be standing, and the strength to move ahead.
During those early days, I kept track of things to be thankful for, and each night I began my evening prayers by thanking God for the top three good things that happened to me each day. I asked Him to protect the loved ones in my life – especially the family and friends who were having a difficult time. And I closed my prayers with a repeat of my morning request for clarity, patience, direction, and strength.
In about two weeks, this new activity was digging into my subconscious. If I popped out of bed in the morning and started to attack the day without prayer, I would suddenly catch myself and stop everything, until I had spent even a brief moment with God. This habit, this conversation with my Creator was becoming a spiritual vitamin that I looked forward to each morning and evening.
As someone who did not pray daily until the summer of 2010, I can attest to the benefits. Prayer has some powerful side effects. It's a good habit without a single negative side effect. It's not without speed bumps. Prayer forces you to stop lying to yourself. If you're starting and ending the day with a conversation with God, it really must start with raw honesty.
If you've taken part in a 40 Day Challenge, then you know what I'm talking about. Perhaps you've even also found yourself randomly popping into a church for a moment of meditation... just because.
Days became weeks, and those weeks rapidly passed. The weekend of August 28th was fast approaching and all that I knew was that I had to be in Washington DC to witness it and be a part of the restoration of honor so vitally needed in America.
During that weekend, I was also fortunate enough to attend Friday night's "America's Divine Destiny" event at the Kennedy Center.
That night was essentially the completion of my 40 Day Challenge. To say that the event was powerful would be an understatement. David Barton co-hosted the night with Glenn, and the 2,500 folks who packed the concert hall were treated to stirring performances by a brilliant gospel choir, plus presentations from Pastor John Hagge, wounded Vietnam Vet David Roever and so much more. However, I have to admit that it was the energetic performance of ex-NFL player Miles McPherson and the music of Twila Paris that moved me to realizing prayer should never leave my daily routine. And it has not.
I have found clarity and comfort in so many parts of my life -- and prayer, a simple connection to God, is the prime reason.
If you have not yet chosen to join in the latest 40 Day Challenge, let me encourage you to start with a smaller, 30 Day Challenge. Start today.
Start. It won't hurt. I promise.