"Bless the Lord all my soul and forget not all His benefits." - Psalm 103:2
I was spending time in prayer yesterday and as usual I presented the Lord with my list of needs, requests, and desires. And then I felt impressed with this thought: Instead of spending the next thirty minutes asking, I should spend it remembering all that He has already done. And so for the remainder of the time, I walked with my Lord down memory lane. It went something like this:
Lord, do You remember where I was when You found me? I was so lost and lonely and I didn't know what to do with my life. And then You called me to be your very own.
Do You remember that summer night in 1973 that I told You I would go anywhere and do anything if You would let me serve You? It was that night I felt your call to be a preacher of the Gospel.
And do You remember how You made a way for me to go to college when I didn't think I ever would? It was there I met the woman who would be my wife, soul mate, ministry partner, and mother of our five precious children.
Heavenly Father, I remember those early days in seminary going to classes all day, then working late into the night. You always made a way for us. You blessed us with our first child, a son. As we held our healthy baby boy in our arms, we learned that another couple had lost their first child hours before in that very same delivery room.
You enabled us to finish seminary and led our little family back to Virginia. You opened a door for me to become the pastor of a small rural church. It was during that first week as the new pastor that I said, "Lord, You know I don't know how to do this."
During the next thirteen years You blessed our work in that church until it become a mighty soul-winning congregation. It was one of the hardest days of my life when I stood before those dear people and told them I was resigning to begin a ministry of missions and evangelism. You remember how I wept at the thought of leaving them, even though I knew You would provide them a new shepherd?
We stepped out in faith to start Rick Via World Reach Ministries. We did not have a salary or any support except the promise that You always care for your own.
Lord, here we are nineteen years later taking the blessed message of Your Son all over the world. Not one time have You failed us or left us. In the raising of our children, in the direction of our ministry, in the joys and sorrows of our lives, You have always been there. You have never failed us and even now as we walk with You into another year of missions, You continue to provide for us through the gifts of your own people.
So Father, as I finish up this brief time of prayer today, I want to say thank you. Thank you for all You have already done and will continue to do with our lives in the days ahead. Once again Lord, I want to say that I am yours. Do with this life all that You desire and please don't ever let me forget all your benefits.