As a young girl I grew up in a small church in Ottawa, ON where every year during our New Year’s Eve/Watch night service the pastor (who happened to me my dad) would invite us (the congregants) to begin the year by writing God a letter.
The letter was an opportunity to talk to the Lord about our hopes and prayers for what we would like the coming year to look like. Once completed we would place them into a sealed envelop with our names on it, and they would all be placed in a ‘prayer box’. The letters would be prayed over throughout the year and the following New Year’s Eve/Watch night service we would get the letters back and we would have the opportunity to open our letters and be reminded of the place we had been the year before.
Opening and re-reading the letters written the year before was a time to reflect on all of the requests God had been faithful to meet, as well as a reminder of requests/needs that we would continue to pray for in the following year. Re-reading the letter also helped to demonstrate how some of the issues that seemed so pressing 365 days earlier somehow stopped being as pressing, and less of a concern.
I LOVED writing that yearly letter as a young girl. I remember that every year my #1 request would be that God would allow my hair to grow to my shoulders (many of my black sisters might be smiling with me as I reminisce over this one) lol. I can’t tell you what age I was when I stopped asking God to help me with this one, but I was driving down the 401 a few weeks ago remembering how silly yet heartfelt and genuine my prayers were as a young girl and my eyes were drawn down to the hair resting way below my shoulders. As I glanced down at my newly weaved 16inch holiday hairdo, and I began to laugh out loud. It hit me at that point that what I now take for granted (the ability to have long or short hair) as a young girl was something I SERIOUSLY and fervently prayed every year without fail!
I know that some might be reading this and wondering why something so ‘materialistic’ and trivial would have impacted me in such a way, but the fact is that in that moment I was reminded that God does answer prayers… BIG…AND SMALL!!! In that moment I had to stop and said Thank you Lord for hearing a little girl’s prayers.
If I didn’t have the opportunity to write down the things that were pressing on my heart at the time, and bring them to God and ask Him for help, then I might have missed out on that moment of remembering that God was listening then, and is still listening now.
Think about some of the important pressing issues you are faced with at this very moment in your life, and I encourage you to not just go to God in prayer for his help, but to write some of the requests down so that once they have been answered you too can sit back and laugh at how amazingly faithful God is in answering each and every one of your prayers (Great and Small).