This blog is a culmination of 40 years of study in the school or prayer. In 1976 I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior and since then I have tried to learn all I can about prayer. I have needed these lessons many time sin my life, and am sure I will need them many more times. Some of the more intense times of prayer in my life include the following:
In 1978, I traveled to Iowa to visit a friend of mine and met a girl while there. It was an amazing set of circumstance during that visit that saw me sitting in my friends office weeping. I was lost, wondering where I really belonged. I prayed with the little knowledge I had about prayer that night and as I traveled the 1500 miles home. I stopped at a hotel half way home and picked up one of those wonderful Gideon Bibles, which led me to the verse that has become my “life verse.” Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct your path.” I knew at that moment I was to move to Iowa, marry that girl and serve the Lord in any way I could. I did so. Prayer proved answerable to me at that point.
My wife and I had 3 daughters during the next 8 years. Raising three daughters caused me many hours of prayer. Prayer to be patient when they got on my nerves, prayers to be understanding when I was confounded, prayers to be loving when I felt unloved, prayers to learn about them when they needed to learn from me. Those prayers met with more challenges as my daughters sometimes rebelled and sometimes loved. Today, they love me and my wife more than ever. I learned that persistent prayer is necessary and is God’s way.
I became a worship leader, lay preacher, manager at my job, and leader in many other organizations. As a result of this, I also became very prideful. This pride led me to start to take liberties with God’s law. I felt I was above the law because God would overlook my little faults, which grew worse by the day. My pride covered my faults in my mind. In 2008 I was caught in my sin and the result was loss of a job of 20 years, expulsion from my church and almost the loss of my marriage. I went on an 8 month sabbatical to try and restore my walk with the Lord. In the end, I learned that prayer had to be continual and humility needed to be my chief attribute.
After that sabbatical, I stayed out of ministry and out of any leadership role for 2 years. I waited for my wife to give me permission to start to lead worship again. I waited on the Lord and prayed He could find a way to once again use me. Then in 2010, I was at a tent meeting with some friends. The man of God told me God was going to do a new work in my life, one that would come out of nowhere and would be like nothing He had ever done before in my life. I was weeping as I heard the words. Two months later God gave me a song, then another and another. Hundreds of songs and worship choruses have been the result. I have learned that we must wait on God for an answer to our prayers.
In 2016 I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of the blood. I remember Proverbs 3:5-6. With my wife alongside me, we trusted in the Lord, we did not try to understand, we acknowledged He was with us and that He would guide us through. We went through two stem cell transplants, some very difficult times and a long recovery. During that recovery, I came across some notes I wrote in 1990, almost 30 years earlier. The study was called The A.S.K. Principle and formed the basis of this book. I had become known online for my poetry, and now God had me blogging out my Bible studies. He was forming a basis of followers. God had me listening to Him like I had never listened before, i learned that we must have a keen ear to listen for answers to our prayers. Those answers may be different than we had thought.
As you read through this blog, know that this is from God to you, delivered by an imperfect vessel who is still learning to pray effectively. It is a journey I will continue for the rest of my life. I am glad you have decided to come along with me.