Prayer; by Billy Crain (RUF campus minister at Rice)
I am thirty-three years old and have been a Christian all of my life, and yet I do not think it was until this year that I really believed in the power of prayer. Of course I had prayed. And yes, I believed God answered prayer. I had seen Him do it. But often those situations were times of great crisis. Certainly God shows up then. That’s His job, isn’t it? But what about when there is no crisis, when one is simply facing the normal, everyday problems of life? Does God still work in those situations?
This year I stepped onto the campus of Rice University with the goal of reaching out to the students here with the love of Jesus Christ. It sounds simple enough, and yet, to be honest, it wasn’t. I arrived not knowing a soul and without any real presence on campus from which to launch my time of ministry.
What had sounded like a heroic adventure for the kingdom six weeks
earlier quickly turned into a marathon race for which I had forgotten
to bring my shoes. Where should I start? Whom should I meet? How
should I meet them? What in the world am I going to do in order to get
things going? No crisis was occurring, and everyone was fine. But
everything seemed difficult, and nothing seemed to be going my way.
Have you ever felt that way or been in a situation like that? You go
to work, and although there is no threat of losing your job, things are
just not working out. You keep missing the big deal or you are always
behind and never able to catch up. Perhaps you find that you are just
not connecting with your spouse, one of your children, or even a good
friend. Life is beginning to feel like a grind and many of the hopes
and dreams that once motivated you are starting to feel out of reach as
you face one obstacle after another just to make it through the week.
What went wrong? Did something go wrong, and you are just not aware of
it? What do you do with situations like that? Is God concerned with
these seemingly everyday problems?
The answer the Scriptures give us is a resounding “YES.” How great it
is that the Lord calls us to cast all of our anxieties upon him – not
just the “big crises” of life, but the everyday stuff as well. This is
one of the things the Lord constantly impressed upon me this year. It
seemed that every day I woke up aware that if God did not do something
here at Rice, then absolutely nothing was going to happen.
This realization caused me to cry out for help to God in a way that I
have never done before when things seemed “calm.” It further made me
ask you to pray. The Lord tells us to lift up each other’s burdens,
and I know I needed your help in this endeavor. Thank you for your
prayers. Besides thanking you, I also want to encourage you as you
have encouraged me this year: cast all of your anxieties on the Lord
(even the small ones) because he cares for you.
Billy Crain is the Reformed University Fellowship campus minster at Rice University. Originally from Dallas, Billy is the fourth of five boys. After attending the University of Texas at Austin, Billy served for two years as an RUF intern at Auburn University. Billy followed up his time at Auburn by attending Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. In 2001 Billy married Ashley Joan Knox of Austin Texas, and they now have two wonderful children, William and Knox.