A Brand New Perspective
For the last 21 years, wherever I’ve ventured, I’ve often carried with me, a little hard covered notebook. It’s dimensions are 15 cm by 11 cm. It ‘s cover is (at different times), one of many possible colours – a bright pink, a dark blue, a regal purple, a chocolate brown…or perhaps something different. As its pages get filled up, this little book gives way to a new but similar book, usually dressed in a cover of different colour.
Have I piqued your curiosity? “What are you talking about”, you ask? Let me enlighten you. I’m referring to my Little Prayer Diary. Inside this little prayer diary, I write prayer requests of family and friends. I note the date and request, and then pray over them. When the answers come, (and I do get answers a good bit of the time), I whoop with joy, praise my God and place a resounding tick, right next to the request. Sometimes, when the answer is specially amazing, I also write ‘Thank you Lord’ next to it, to express my gratitude to my heavenly Father.
One night last week, as I got my Bible and other devotional material ready for the next day’s Quiet Time, I was puzzled to discover that my LPD (Little Prayer Diary) was missing. A hunt inside the house didn’t reveal it. I scratched my head. Hmmm…..!
Where was it?
It was then that I suddenly remembered. I remembered I’d taken it on my shopping expedition that day, inside my lovely, cloth bag from Sri Lanka. Neither my LPD nor my pretty cloth bag had apparently made it back home from the shops. I went quickly to my car and had a hunt for them, hoping I’d dropped the bag inside my car. No, they weren’t there either! Very sad!
Next morning, I was on the phone bright and early, calling all the shops I’d been to in the village, hoping some kind person had handed in my belongings. No one had. Although my LPD doesn't look valuable, it’s true to say that the LPD is one of my prized possessions. Apart from prayer requests of family and friends, I also write down special Bible verses in it. It is a very precious little book. My LPD tops the list of items I never want to lose. But.....I had lost it!
A week later – I had to sorrowfully tell myself that my LPD was lost forever. I was upset for awhile. Until I remembered a fact that perked me up instantly. I realised that I still had my previous LPD. I quickly checked the bookcase in my family room, next to my computer. Hurray! I found my old LPD.
Each time my current little prayer diary gets full – I copy all the un-answered prayers from the present LPD to a new one. I then start adding fresh requests into my newer LPD. How glad I was then, that I’d not thrown the old one away. Now, once again, I had something to aid me in my prayers. My over fifty brain means well – but on occasion (and far too often) forgets important things! (Does that sound familiar?) Having a written reminder to pray, helps me every time.
So…. guess what! Apart from losing 6 months worth of prayer requests, I still had requests which spanned 20 year and 6 months! Not bad at all!
A positive result of using the older book was that I now found myself praying for 6 month old prayer requests with fresh energy. I had a new focus. A new perspective in my prayer life. I was glad that I could focus more on these 6 month old prayer requests which I had deserted for awhile. I’d been focusing lately on more recent requests. But the older requests too were ones that needed praying over.
Yes, I had lost my little prayer diary. Yes, I had lost my present prayer focus. But you know what? I hadn’t really lost my focus. Just changed it. I now had a fresh perspective. I now continued to pray – for those 6 month old prayer requests and for older ones. I also prayed for more recent requests that were still safely stored in my head.
Whenever the road of life suddenly ends or makes a strange detour – it doesn’t mean I have lost my way. It just means I have a new viewpoint, just as I did in this instance. Losing something precious has often forced me to re-discover what’s important in my life. When I’ve lost my health, it has given me a fresh empathy for those who are sick and a fresh appreciation of my usual good health. When I’ve lost a friend, I’ve realised again how precious God’s friendship is. When I’ve lost a dream, I have been forced to start dreaming anew. When I’ve lost my way, God has led me on another exciting path, often far better than the one I’d veered off.
Have you lost anything today? Did something happen recently that shook your confidence in God, in someone else….. or even in life itself?
Losing my prayer book wasn’t such a bad thing after all!
What have you lost today? Or rather….
Have you discovered a Brand New Perspective today?