Pray In the New Year

“My wife's friend Jackie is battling cancer,” Don Musser wrote in the text he sent along with this picture, “and she got the first of your prayer journals.”

It was a joy to see Don’s wife, Carole (right), and her friend Jackie, sharing a dessert and a smile. Don and Carole have become good friends through the years. What he’s referring to is my gift to him of 10 prayer journals—The Pray! Prayer Journal, which I put together some years ago—to pass along to people the Mussers come across in their travels.

You see, Don and Carole call State College, Pennsylvania, their home. But they travel across the United States visiting family and friends much of the year, and oftentimes their travels bring them to Colorado Springs.

One day Don knocked on The Navigators’ front door and asked for me. God had used the prayer journal to bless him in his life and ministry, and he wanted to meet a like-minded, like-hearted prayer warrior and to offer an encouraging word in person.

Since then I’ve learned that Don and Carole are modern-day “Johnny Appleseeds,” of sorts—they’re prayer warriors who pray with people from the east coast to the west coast, planting  rich “seeds” of faith along the journey and making a gift of the prayer journal as they’re able to do so.

You can see why I gave them a stack of prayer journals—I’ve been wanting to do this for some time! They meet people I’ll never know this side of heaven, and I want help spur them on and equip them however I can!

I’m grateful that Jackie is one of the recipients of their ministry, and I sincerely pray the Lord will use this resource in her heart and life as she prays in the new year! 

Over breakfast recently, I asked Don how a passion for prayer took root in his heart. Interestingly, he was quite specific: “On January 12, 1997, I wrote in my Bible: ‘Since prayer is my main means of communication with God, it is imperative that I increase the effectiveness of my daily prayer life.’ "

As Don continued, he turned in his Bible to Ecclesiastes 4:12, which talks about how two are better than one: “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (ESV).

Don said, “The three strands of support that took root in my prayer life are my parents and grandparents; a prayer conference on June 15, 2002; and my wife, Carole.”

Whenever we get together, I love to hear fresh stories of how Don and Carole are instilling that same heart for prayer in the lives of their grandchildren—and, again, in the lives of others whose paths the Lord leads them across in their travels.

“Christianity is more caught than taught,” someone has said. As Don and Carole live out the Gospel and in so doing spread seeds of faith across the land, my wife, Kim, and I strive to do the same in the lives of our family and friends. We are desperately dependent upon the Lord, so prayer is vital in our own lives and ministries. Thus, we commit to pray in the new year!

Won't you join us? What is God's Spirit saying to your spirit in terms of making prayer an intentional commitment on your part both today and throughout the new year? 

Dean Ridings is a Representative of Navigator Church Ministries and co-leads NCM in the Rocky Mountain Region. To contact Dean or to learn more about the Ridings’ Navigator ministry, please click here. To learn more about The Pray! Prayer Journal, click here