FIRST: I drink the coffee. THEN: I do the things!

Most people know that I LOVE coffee. Even those that don’t “actually” know me, but follow me on social media, have probably realized it. It makes me happy…it makes me smile…and most days, I (in my mind) refuse to operate or function without it. It is one of the destinations in my happy place (the first stop of the day) and I frequent it, most mornings. I can’t say that it gives me energy, but it does keep me awake. I learned this, accidentally, one night after I’d drank a cup at around 9 p.m. TERRIBLE IDEA…I thought because my dad can do it that I could too (he’ll drink coffee at 11 p.m. then go straight to sleep)……NEGATIVE! I was DOG TIRED, exhausted, but I couldn’t shut my eyes…I couldn’t even blink, so I didn’t get to bed until around 5 a.m.. Anyhoo, unless I’m fasting, or the Lord instructs me not to have any at a particular time (which He has before), I typically have a cup every morning. Although I can go on without it, I prefer not to. See, I’m not “really” a morning person. No, I can’t sleep til noon (if only), in fact, I can’t sleep past 7:30 a.m., 8 if I’m sleeping in late (eye roll). But where my unmorningness (that’s what I said) comes in is in the fact that I don’t want to see, talk to, communicate with, or be friendly to ANYONE but Jesus before around 9:30 a.m. Yep…I admit that, I, Alecia M. White, the smiling joy box, am a slight grump in the morning. The problem is that I have to be at work before dawn cracks and that won’t fly. I’m expected to be my usual smiling, helpful, perky self….so, I drink coffee…it helps me adult. *shrugs…rolls eyes…next thought*

Why do you care about my coffee obsession? Well, you probably don’t, but my need or desire for coffee in the morning led me to the point that I’m bringing up to you today….PRAYER! See, if I, if WE give in to the NEED for prayer the way I (maybe you) give in to the need for coffee EVERY MORNING, we’d be a lot better off. I’ll admit, coffee helps me function in the wee hours of the morning (wee hours meaning 9 a.m….lol)…..or at least I let myself think that it does. It at least helps me to stay awake and alert enough to pretend that I am functioning.  I make the effort to ensure I don’t miss that morning cup.  There are evenings when I set my coffee pot or set up my Keurig (yes I have both) so that all I need to do is push a button the next morning.  There are even mornings when I realize that I haven’t set either and I rush out of bed to start it so that it’s ready by the time I’m dressed.  What if we did this so that we didn’t miss prayer time?  What if we got stuff together the evening before so that we wouldn’t have to rush out of God’s presence in the morning?  What if we realized that we didn’t prepare the night before so we rushed out of bed just to talk to Him before getting ready for our day?

Prayer DOES help us to function, in fact without it, I’m pretty sure we don’t…..not properly anyway. I have noticed that days I don’t get my prayer time in before beginning my day, I AM OFF! I mean everything is off…..my attitude….my focus….my coordination….ALL OFF. Liiiiikkkkke, I’m pretty sure my switch malfunctions and can’t be turned on again. Those are my, “can we just quit and try again tomorrow?” days and there is no way that they should even occur. It makes sense though…..1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” The Bible tells us this for a reason….not just because it sounds like a good idea, but because praying is necessary. Bishop Norman L. Wagner said, “Prayer is vital to the process.” I imagine that “the process” is everything that we encounter. Processes never end, we go from one to the next and we cannot survive with out praying through them.  I mean, even Jesus prayed.  THE LORD PRAYED, while here on this earth!  Now, if Jesus needed to pray, what makes us think that we can survive with out doing so???  “And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.”  (Mark 14:.32)  “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” (Luke 3:12)

Prayer is communication with God, and when we “pray without ceasing”, we are in constant communication with Him. David said in Psalms 55:17, “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” You see that??? Evening, morning, noon…that’s all day…without ceasing. And when you pray, guess what…….The Lord hears YOU! Matthew 26:41 says, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Prayer can keep you out of some sticky situations. How? Because the Holy Spirit can talk you out of some stuff. You know, how you have that one friend that can help your logic kick in??? That one friend that can keep you from doing something “STOOPID???” Just like that!  Well, God is that ONE FRIEND that can help you stay out of or escape temptation. And get this, sometimes, we must listen to God instead of talking. Translation:  Sometimes we gotta SHUT UP and listen!  The other side of communication is listening and I’m sure that I speak truth when I say that none of us do enough of that. Hearing and heeding the voice of the Lord as we are quiet before Him is also a part of prayer. “I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.” Psalms 85:8

Right now, my church, Christ Church Apostolic, Indianapolis, IN (shameless plug) is in a 24/90 (24 hours a day for 90 days) prayer vigil.  Meaning, around the clock, saints are praying.  At home, at work, at the church, in the car…where ever we are, we are committing to pray.  We began on this Monday, July 10th, and I have already learned more about the need for prayer in my own life.  I pray….I pray everyday….but committing myself to a specific time everyday to just talk to and listen to the voice of God is absolutely amazing and life changing.  Yes, I pray in the morning, but the commitment comes in on those days that I don’t have to leave my house but I must get up at 6 a.m. to pray.

So, after all of this, what I hope and PRAY what you gathered is: 1. ALWAYS PRAY! 2. Don’t skip prayer! 3. You NEED prayer in the morning! 4. You NEED prayer all day! 5. Please don’t skip prayer! 6. Prayer will keep you sane! Just to name a few things. 😉

I encourage you not skip your prayer time.  If you have to get up a few minutes or an hour earlier, I PROMISE you, it will be worth your time and the sleep you’ve given up.

Love y’all and I’m praying for you! (I really am)

Ms. A.M.White

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