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Monday, October 13th 2008

7:48 PM

Road Rage Recovery

 

Becoming A Praying Road Warrior, Carol Van Atta

 

It was fifteen minutes before 8:00 AM. 

My turn signal clicked impatiently. Why couldn’t these other drivers understand that I was late — again? 

Finally, I merged into the right lane, boldly advancing toward my exit. Out of nowhere, another driver raced up beside me shaking his fist.  No —! Not another incident of road rage. 

I wanted to scream. Unfortunately, I had not taken time out of my chaotic morning routine to pray and prepare for the commute that seemed to be growing increasingly stressful each day.  I knew all the proper ways to pray.  I just needed to set the alarm for earlier, find a peaceful place, and talk to the Lord before venturing outside the security of my home. 

Unfortunately, for me, this lofty ideal was not working no matter how hard I tried. Yet, I knew, without a doubt, as I watched the rear-end of the fist-shaking-driver’s car vanish around the bend, I could choose to pray for the angry driver or I could fantasize about kicking a rear, and it definitely would not be the backside of a car!

In that moment, I realized that I needed a plan, a plan that I could implement from my car during my hectic morning commute to work. A method of prayer that would allow me move over to the passenger’s seat in my life and surrender to God’s control behind the wheel. Thus began my quest of becoming a focused, dynamic, Praying Road Warrior. 

Wherever we are prayer is appropriate.  Even in the car! Our Lord told us to pray without ceasing. I understand that commandment to mean that we are to pray all the time, whenever and wherever possible.  I also realized, as I prayed for myself, my family, my friends, and my church, there were a large number of hurting, angry, and very impatient people roaring by me on the road — people who looked pretty gloomy about their own freeway circumstances. 

I started right then listening more closely to God. Now, when I see a car whiz past and I hear the loving voice of my Father say, “Pray for that woman.  She is hurting.” I do.  I have learned to start off my daily road trips in the presence of the Lord. 

Over time, a new prayer pattern emerged. This simple method that I used to rise above “road madness” and draw closer to my Savior was really starting to work. 

Breaking down the word WARRIOR provides a simple, yet very thorough process of prayer. It can be used behind the wheel or wherever else we desire to enter the Throne Room of God.

 

WARRIOR:

 

W-Worship — It is always appropriate to enter God’s presence in worship.  Worship provides a certain element of holiness that nothing else can. When done with complete abandonment and with Christ as our sole focus, we discover freedom and insight on a deeper level. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found the solution to a problem in the midst of praise and worship.  However, I offer a warning:  Do not close your eyes and raise both hands in a posture of worship while driving. Not because you look weird, that’s okay, but we want to be a blessing while praying, not causing accidents! 

Psalm 68:4 (NLT): Sing praises to God and to his name!  Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds.His name is the Lord—rejoice in his presence!

 

A-Adore — I have discovered that adoring God immediately following worship is a natural act. We can speak words of love and praise to Him. For he is worthy, incredible, creative, forgiving, loving, merciful, kind, just, all-powerful, perfect, and so much more. You may find this portion of your prayer time hard to stop. Fantastic!

We will become totally energized when we learn to take the focus off of ourselves and place it where it belongs — on our Lord and King. He alone is truly is worthy of all adoration. We can never honor Him too much.

Psalm 88:15 (NLT): But you, O Lord, are a merciful and gracious God,

slow to get angry, full of unfailing love and truth.

 

R-Repent — Before we go any further, it is time to do business with God. He already paid the price for our sins, didn’t He?  I don’t like that feeling when I know I’ve sinned and I’m trying to hide from the Creator of Heaven and Earth. He knows it all!  Hiding isn’t possible — ever.

This is an opportunity to remove any unbearable, sin-caused, weight we’ve been carting around, giving it to the Only One who can handle our burdens — Jesus Christ. In prayer, we can chose to start our day fresh and free or under the enemy’s thumb.  I don’t know about you, but I want freedom and forgiveness, forget the thumb! 

Acts 3:17 (NLT): Thankfully, that is what our God wants for us too.

Now turn from your sins and turn to God, so you can be cleansed of your sin

 

R-Repeat — Now is the time to repeat God’s word. Are you working on a memory verse?  Have you ever tried praying scripture aloud and in prayer form?  If not, this is the perfect opportunity to start.  Here we can fill our minds, in prayer, with God’s truth found only in His Word. 

Through memorization of God’s word, and praying familiar scriptures back to God, we arm ourselves with the belt of truth. We need this truth in order to live successfully in a deceitful and dangerous world. This is the perfect time to pray through the Armor of God found in Ephesians, Chapter 6. We have a responsibility in our prayer time to take our thoughts captive and replace the enemy’s lies with God’s incredible truth. Let’s do it!

2 Timothy 3:16 (NLT): All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.

 

I-Invite — Now we should make time for specific requests and talk about our concerns, our fears, and our hopes, inviting Him to partner in every area of our lives.

 I know when I pray in this manner my day just seems to flow so much easier.  Not perfectly, because this is a fallen world, but certainly a whole lot better. 

I also invite Him to speak to me.  It is crucial for me to be silent for a few moments and seek God’s plan. I ask Him to show me anyone on the road, in the traffic jam, or even in a building close by that I should be praying for. God always responds to my request for divine appointments. He is waiting for our invitation. The good news, God always shows up where He is invited!

Proverbs 8:17 (NLT): I love all who love me. Those who search for me

will surely find me.

 

O-Obey — It’s time to obey and actually do what He has revealed to us during worship, while we were repenting or repeating His word. He may have shown us someone to pray for, or something specific we need to do. It is now up to us to follow through. 

Just the other day, I drove past an extremely disheveled young man sitting on an overstuffed duffel bag at the side of the freeway entrance. He was holding up a piece of cardboard with “I am hungry” scrawled across the front. On this particular occaision, I felt compelled to drive back and pick up a meal at a fast food restaurant. I was very nervous about the whole thing.  I mean, what if he was faking it? 

I heard God’s word clearly in my mind, “Feed my sheep.” Now that was hard to ignore.  It was not up to me to judge this man, just to bless him in a simple way. I added a five-dollar bill to his lunch bag, stopping nearby while other drivers watched me in obvious shock.  I let this man know that the care-package was a gift from God.

 Do I do this all the time?  No. But this day, I knew it was my duty. So, I obeyed. I can’t even begin to describe the joy I felt in my heart from such a simple act of obedience.  I simply had to rejoice! 

Jeremiah 7:23 (NLT) This is what I told them: ‘Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Only do as I say, and all will be well!’

 

R-Rejoice — Finally, as we pull into that parking spot, or return to our driveway, we should now be rejoicing.  We have just spent the duration of our drive in the presence of God.  It is time to rejoice. Rejoice for He is good. He longs to spend time with each one of us.  We can approach His thrown with freedom and confidence.  Let us celebrate the good news that we never have drive anywhere alone.  We have the best driving partner ever, don’t we?  We have Jesus. 

Next time you get in your car and realize you have not said your morning prayers, don’t fret. God is waiting for you. So are all those people in the world who are hungry for life, hungry for God. 

When we become a Praying Road Warrior, we impact our world and our own lives in powerful and unexpected ways. With God driving and us praying, our commute will never be the same again!

Revelation 19: 7a (NLT): Let us be glad and rejoice and honor him

 

FINAL NOTE:  Don’t stop just because the car does! After we park the car, heading to our daily destinations, we often leave God back in the car. Maybe we should invite Him to join us for the rest of the day?

We don’t ever want to leave our dependence on Him for the road trip only. Let’s invite Him to stay with us every minute of everyday. Amen!

 

 

 

 

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