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The Prayer Box + the joy before the answered prayers



One of my new favorite YouTubers to watch is Ashley Hetherington, and I am not only obsessed with her aesthetics, but her wisdom and encouragement draws me closer to God after every video and challenges me in so many ways. She's passionate about Jesus and bringing His truth to her platform, and let me tell you, I'm here for it.


In one of her videos, she celebrated her growing number of followers and how she specifically prayed over this milestone in her career. Ashley shared a bit of her prayer bulletin board, and I felt inspired to create something similar of my own. I've felt overwhelmed with the things on my heart, and this was a way for me to surrender that to Jesus. God's also been teaching me about praying big prayers, and so I'm working on that as well.



Anyways, over spring break I created a prayer box. I decorated it with Bible verses and advice about prayer that I've received over the years, and got down to business. I dedicated one night to praying and talking to Jesus, and began filling the box with the requests I have. I actually got on the ground, on my knees, coming before the Father, and it was one of the most beautiful experiences I've ever had with the Lord. I wrote down prayers about people and situations, and after every one, I said "not my will, but Yours", and completely surrendered it all to Jesus.


My eyes filled with tears after every prayer, and even though I haven't received a "yes" yet and these situations haven't had a complete 180, I know that God is working and I know that He is transforming me into the woman He wants me to be.


Y'all, we don't need a "yes" from God to know He is working.


That night as I was praying, I was so humbled. The God we serve is in the business of moving mountains and parting seas, and believe it or not, He is doing those same things in our life. He hears us and is speaking to our hearts, if we'd only slow down long enough to listen. He is healing and reviving and redeeming the most broken parts of our hearts, and to think that He's ignoring us by not giving us the answers we want to all of our prayers would be foolish. God is good, and He is working.


By laying these prayers down, by giving it to Jesus, a new healing began in me. I realized (after too long) that I don't have to carry these heavy things by myself. It's not my job, and honestly, I'm not strong enough for it. I was getting so weighed down by the hurts and the anxiety and the stress of trying to figure out my life that I forgot to give it to Jesus, and boy, was that a mistake. With every prayer I physically wrote out and dropped in the box, a burden was lifted from my shoulders. Because I'm not in this struggle alone, and the God of the universe is taking care of it. The God who conquered death has promised to fight on my behalf, and that takes away so. much. stress from trying to solve it on my own.


You would think that I would be my happiest once these prayers were answered and II got everything I had dreamed (because this is what I had believed for the longest time), but I don't think that's the way it works.


I might be one of the happiest, most joyful versions of myself, right now, in the midst of the waiting, surrendering, and healing. It's kind of a difficult place to be, where I'm forced to trust that God has a plan and a blessing waiting for me even when I can't see it, but it's such a freeing place. There's such intimacy with Jesus here, a new depth to our relationship and my peace that I haven't experienced before. There's no more pressure on me to fix it all. I don't have to strive any longer. I don't have to carry these burdens by myself. I don't have to worry at all, actually, because God's got it under control. God's got me (and you!) and He's holding our hand as we journey down this road together.


And once I wholeheartedly believed that, it was as if the floodgates of joy swung open in my heart and I was made new.

 

Even if making a DIY prayer box like I did isn't your thing, I'd challenge you to spend some serious, intentional time with the Lord, praying and laying down the situations and people on your heart. There is such joy and freedom in meeting the Lord in such a vulnerable place, and He will meet you there. God is going to come through in mighty ways for each and every one of us, but we have to let Him take the wheel. That begins with surrender and simply being honest with both ourselves and Him about what we're going through. And as we do that, we're going to experience healing and joy beyond what we can explain, because we serve a God who is alive and active in our very lives.


If there is anything I can pray alongside you with, I'd love to do that! Feel free to leave prayer requests down the comments down below. OR, if there's something specific that God has been teaching you or spoken to you lately, I'd love to hear that as well in the comments!

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