I Pray Best When I'm Sweating

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“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” Luke 22:44
I had an unusual day today.  It was typical because I had booked myself solid all day long.  The only time I had between appointments was travel time to and from my destination.  What made today unusual was that my first task of the day was unloading a pile of dirt for my husband.  This meant I would be dirty and sweaty for the rest of my day, with no time for a shower.
It’s typically not a problem except today was my scheduled meeting with my Campus Pastor.  I didn’t want him to think I was being disrespectful because of my appearance.  I popped him a quick text explaining my day. I explained I may not be looking my best by the time I made our appointment.
It was his response that prompted this blog.  He replied, “Sweating for the Kingdom”.   To which I responded, “Amen.  I pray best when I’m sweating.”  I truly meant it.  It got me thinking about how much I do pray when I’m sweating.  I’ve been pondering that thought all day.
When you are sweating you are typically exerting above average effort.  For instance, if it’s a hot day outside and you are sweating, your body is working harder than normal to keep you cool.  When I’m playing a tennis match and losing, I pray a lot more for strength than when I’m winning.  When life is going along status quo, it’s easy for me to not talk to God as much.  The minute something happens though, I want Him there and on it.
Jesus was praying so earnestly the night before His crucifixion  He actually had drops of blood in His sweat.  He knew what was coming the next day.  He was in serious conversation with His Father about it.  There really is a medical condition called Hematidrosis, it explains how there can be blood in your sweat.  It has to do with the tiny blood vessels that surround the sweat glands.  You have to be praying pretty hard to make it bleed.
That’s what happens when life brings us to our knees.  When the unexpected happens.  When it leaves you with no where to turn.  When life turns up the heat and we start sweating, it’s often the exact same time we start praying.
It’s interesting how we ignore God when the temperature is comfortable.  The minute the heat starts to rise and life becomes uncomfortable, we want Him right there waiting for us.  The good news is, He will be there when we call:
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”  Jeremiah 33:3
The bad news is, what do we miss on the days we don’t call on Him?
I personally can’t go a day without God.  Whether the temperature is perfect or not, I need Him.  I’ve disciplined myself to spend time with Him every day, usually in the morning.  Not saying I’m a saint, God knows better than anyone I’m not.  Just saying I have worked time with God into my day.  It helps me to do a Bible reading plan.  If nothing else, I’m always reading through the Bible in a year.  I always start on Jan. 1 and end Dec. 31.  My favorite thing over the holidays is picking out my new plan.  This year my husband and I are reading it together.  It’s been awesome.
That being said, my most connecting times with God are still when I’m sweating.  When life is doing a full court press and I feel like I have no where to turn.  Nothing brings me to my knees faster than that.
I’m beginning to thank God for the sweat.  I had never really thought about it until today.  Let’s face it, most people don’t enjoy sweating.  We don’t enjoy hard times either.  What we do enjoy is the peace we find in God during those times.  We enjoy His calming nature in the midst of the storm.  We love the gentle breeze of His Spirit that cools us off when it’s too hot.  We grow closer to Him during the times we’re sweating more than any other time.
I wasn’t lying today when I said, “Amen!  I pray best when I sweat!”  Turns out I really do!
 
 

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