First Things First: Pray

Pam Tebow has a passion for helping women discover the power of their influence. She believes that when we reflect God’s character through the gifts and opportunities He gives us, we are like rocks tossed into a pond, producing ripple effects that inspire those in and beyond to think and act differently. Pam never expected her family’s name to be known around the world, but when her youngest son, Tim, won the Heisman Trophy, Pam was featured in national media for her decision to choose life for Tim against doctor’s advice. It’s a grace to welcome Pam to the farm’s front porch today…

guest post by Pam Tebow

“Prayer is just a running conversation with God,” I heard my youngest son tell a group of young boys.

“You can talk to Him when you throw the ball, when you are on the bench, when you are in the huddle.”

Talking to God all the time is what the apostle Paul meant when he encouraged us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

We tend to pray when our world detonates or we are at our wit’s end. Yet the Bible instructs us to pray before we do anything at all.

As a child, I can’t remember praying except to repeat a singsong poem before meals. Prayer seemed to be just for preachers and super spiritual adults.

When I was twelve and walked to that little church with my sister, I prayed to invite Jesus to be my Savior. He answered that prayer, so I should have known I could talk to Him anytime about anything.

But I didn’t comprehend the power of prayer, and I missed years of connecting with my heavenly Father. My husband did too.

We wanted to do things differently, so we began praying with our children as soon as they could say a few words. 

We hoped that talking to God would become as natural as hugs from Mom and as significant as a special date with Dad.

The responsibility of influencing our children to pray was a spotlight exposing the holes in my own prayer life.

If prayer was not natural to me, how could it be natural for my children?

Keenly aware that prayer was one of my weaknesses, I attended a prayer conference by a well-known pastor, who kept a detailed prayer journal and got up at 4:30 every morning to pray. I thought the solution was to copy him, but I failed miserably.

I set my alarm, got up, and prayed. But I also was up in the middle of the night with a baby. (My sleep-deprived state occurred years before all the YouTube videos on how to get your baby to sleep through the night in a week.)

Tired and discouraged, I gave up on the 4:30 idea, believing I would never grasp the reality of prayer.

You may be in a crazy busy season of life now, whether your baby sleeps through the night or your babies have already grown up.

You might be spending late nights at the office, or writing term papers or a dissertation, unable to take on one more assignment. And you may do all of the above with a job, a husband, kids, and a to-do list so long that you can’t imagine adding even one more responsibility.

If prayer is on your list, it’s positioned between “run to the grocery store” and “help with homework.”

Lots of us plan to make time for God, but the tyranny of the urgent shoves our prayer life out of the way like one of my little boys shoved his brother when he thought I wasn’t looking.

My son got caught and put in “time out,” while we get away with a life void of prayer.

No one else knows if we pray or not. When I believed that taking time for prayer was just one more responsibility, it was shoved aside.

But prayer became the domino that caused all the other dominos to fall.

Our enemy wins a great battle when we cease to pray.

Most women I know do not pray because they are supposed to. They pray because they have no other recourse. I remain in that category of women who are desperate for God’s involvement. You probably are too.

When our burdens are the heaviest, we are driven to pray. Years ago, I wrote in my journal (one of only a handful of entries that year), “Lord, at this season in life, I am driven to pray. Life’s problems are so complex. I know for a fact now that there is no human who can meet my needs; yet so many humans depend on me.”

I’m so thankful that in the midst of a busy life, God’s grace drew me to Himself.

I followed the example of the disciples, who begged Jesus to teach them how to pray, and I prayed to learn about prayer.

I learned the most simply by praying. I learned not just intellectually but experientially that I could talk to God on the go.

I can pray as I drive, do laundry, jog on a treadmill, lie in bed, sit at my desk, or watch a ballgame.

After all the years of trying to grow in the area of prayer so I could influence my children with its importance, I remember crying happy tears when I heard my son quote me: “Prayer is just a running conversation with God.”

I recently spoke at a “mom’s encouragement” night, and I shared the story of teaching Timmy that prayer is a conversation with God, one that takes place as we run, walk, dance, work, drive, or anything else.

The next morning, I was preparing to speak again to the group when a lady in tears approached me:

“I never knew I could talk to God all the time,” she began. “I thought I had to kneel beside my bed in order for my prayers to be heard. I drove an hour and a half to hear you today, and I prayed all the way. I’ve never had such freedom!”

I’m as thankful as the sweet woman who approached me that we can, indeed, pray on the go, and God hears us.

 


Pam Tebow travels and speaks across the country, encouraging audiences to use the incredible influence God has given them to eternally impact their world. She has appeared on Good Morning America and has won national awards for her ministry work. She and her husband, Bob, run an orphanage in the Philippines, which has been home to scores of children since 1991. 

Pam never expected her family’s name to be known around the world. For most of her life, she served quietly and faithfully as a wife and a mom. But her consistent, everyday choices to follow God started creating unexpected ripples of influence throughout her family, her community, and her world. Pam believes that every one of us can be influential—and that deep within a woman’s heart is the desire to use her influence for good.

In Ripple Effects: Discover the Miraculous Motivating Power of a Woman’s Influence , Pam shares what she’s learned on the journey. Join her as she reveals the ways she intentionally taught her kids to develop strong character and faith, gives an inside look at how she survived her own most challenging life seasons, and explores the unique and powerful influence you can have on those around you, no matter where you are planted in life. Whether we are in the midst of endless diaper changes, climbing up the corporate ladder, or simply doing our best to live, love, and serve well each day, Pam will encourage us to maximize our God-given opportunities for influence—and watch how far the ripples will spread.

[ Our humble thanks to Tyndale for their partnership in today’s devotion ]