I removed the collection of brightly colored sticky notes from my microwave today. The realtor needed to take photos for the listing and the jumble of notes placed in all kinds of directions on the microwave door would have been a bit distracting.
It felt strange. For the first time in over 14 years I have a microwave without prayer requests on it.
The needs are still real and they are still important. They are still in my heart and on my mind, just not on the microwave…for now. I forget how long I’ve been doing this, but I remember hearing something over 14 years ago about how our society is so focused on getting our wants met that we’ve become too impatient to wait even for the microwave. And, just in case you haven’t noticed: God doesn’t work on “microwave timing”—He has His own schedule and no amount or show of impatience will alter it one bit. I think that’s because the changes that He’s after are deeper than the “surfacy” desires we so often pass off as prayer requests.
As I listened to whoever it was that was speaking all those years ago in Georgia, I began to think about how many times a day I used my microwave. What if I spent even that short amount of time lifting up prayer requests? What if God could use those tiny moments to make enormous differences in the lives of the people I love? And so it began.
It started off with a few notes I wrote just for myself—reminders of things I’d already been praying for those loved ones. A few years and lots of visitors later, some really puzzled looks led to questions and then phone calls with voices on the other end started saying, “Hey! I need you to put me on the microwave!” This was always followed by the details of the request or just a simple voice of thanks and I didn’t really pay a lot of attention to how this was making an impact in any way except that it was my visual reminder of who needed prayer. Later on, I noticed that it also meant I was keeping in touch with some of these people a bit more than we had in the past. I’ve learned that prayer strengthens my relationship with God AND with others, as well.
My biggest surprise came one day when I was standing here in Mississippi and praying while something heated up…and I noticed a note that wasn’t in my handwriting. We’d just come through a weekend with a house full of guests—lots of laughter and fun, sharing of thoughts and good food. Without saying a word to me about it, a dear friend (my precious #12) had listed the names of her immediate family members and simply added her note to my “list” of requests. I loved it! It actually made my heart sing.
I thought of that weekend, that friend and her precious family that I’ve prayed for over the years as I took her note off and placed it in the pile today. Once again I prayed for her family and while I know that God is aware of what they need and that He doesn’t need me to remind Him to bless them, I am grateful that He lets me in on it anyway.
Someday soon, there will be another microwave in a new location. When you come to visit, don’t be surprised to see those sticky notes have made another appearance. I know that God doesn’t work on the microwave timetable, but I’m in this for the long haul…and so is He.