When we released our newest coffee table book Angels: The Collector’s Edition, we were thrilled with the 150+ pages of brand new content from artwork to stories of encouragement from some of the most celebrated musical artists. Today, we want to share our friend Amy Grant’s piece titled “One Simple Prayer.” Read her heart below, and find out more about The Collector’s Edition here. You can also order Amy’s brand new Christmas album “Tennessee Christmas” here!
One Simple Prayer – a guest post from Amy Grant.
A simple prayer… a life-changing outcome.
Jesus demonstrated this time and again throughout the Gospels, with His divine simplicity leading to supernatural results. What is my simple prayer? Could something of mine become like the 5 loaves and 2 fish in His hands?
25 years ago I was in the midst of one of the busiest seasons of my life, with two young children and a busy music career. While I was grateful to be touring, traveling and singing, I was exhausted….that bone-crushing fatigue that gets harder and harder to shake off. One morning, stumbling into the kitchen for a cup of coffee, I found myself telling my mother-in-law, Mary, “I don’t remember the last time I prayed a succinct prayer. I feel like I’m running on fumes with myself, with my kids and with God.” In her gentle matter of fact way, Mary smiled and said “Amy, I think it just takes one good prayer in the morning and you’ll be ok. Just pray this, ‘Lord, lead me today to those I need and to those that need me, and let something I do have eternal significance.’ That’s all that really matters.”
I have prayed that prayer nearly every day for a quarter of a century, and it has changed my life. Asking God to lead me to those I need and to those who need me makes me curious about everyone whose path I cross. What if the person on the other side of the gas pump needs me? Or an even crazier thought than that…what if I need them?
Just praying that simple prayer heightens my awareness of the people around me, as I anticipate the day ahead. There is power in the spoken word… a word of prayer, a spoken dream, a spoken hope.
In the spring of 1994, I purchased a beautiful farm in Middle Tennessee. I love the open fields and the wooded hills. Three old cabins and a barn, that all date back to the late 1800’s, were the only structures on the property when I bought it.
It’s the place where Vince and I got married. Now my mother’s ashes are buried there.
A few years ago, I began to feel that the farm was meant to be more than a personal getaway. Eventually, I started referring to the farm as my 5 loaves and 2 fish, wondering what God could inspire in me if I would put this place I loved so much in His hands.
One Sunday afternoon, I loaded up two of my sisters, my friend Sharry, and my father to drive the fields with me. We bumped and bounced along in the sunshine with the windows rolled down. I told them that I felt like someone had taken this pot of dreams that had long been on the backburner in my mind, shoved it to a front burner and turned the heat to high. One of my sisters suggested that I start speaking my dreams aloud as we drove along. “OK”, I said. “I want to grow old surrounded by friends and family, experiencing community, experiencing God through His creation, experiencing healing.” I continued imagining what could happen on this land…a community garden, a hillside of beehives, opportunities to share an outdoor experience with people from all walks of life. For two hours we drove and dreamed, until we returned to the cabins on the hilltop.
Someone suggested that we get out of the car and pray. (I think I remember their words were “Amy, let’s pray that you stay out of the way!’) I laughed at the prospect So we gathered around, holding hands. Sharry reached in through the car window to rest her hand on my dad’s chest, adding him to the circle, whether he knew it or not. You see, my father suffers from advanced dementia. He was with us that day, but he also wasn’t. He spent most of our ride silently fixated on his seatbelt. It’s been a long time since he’s said my name. A long time since he’s said much that makes sense at all. But still, Sharry reached out to include him in our circle. In that moment right before we bowed our heads, when we were just taking in the sight of each other, Dad broke his two-hour silence. He looked at the four of us and said clearly and coherently, “This is all going to happen, and there’ll be great celebrating!” You could have knocked us all over with a feather. We were dumbfounded and awestruck. I wanted to grab a pen and paper in case he was about to reveal THE PLAN, but the next thing out of his mouth was just gibberish. That didn’t matter. We were laughing and praying and ready to welcome the adventure.
Little did I know that the adventure would begin immediately! Within a week I had met Tommy Rhodes and offered him the use of our farm the following June to host his Barefoot Republic Camp, a faith based day camp bringing children together from all different racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds in an environment of reconciliation and love. It would take all the pages in this book and more to describe what has happened since our prayer on the hillside, and how the wind of faith continues to fill the sails of this dream Maybe the best part of all is seeing so many threads of relationships formed over decades of my life being woven together with a new and vibrant energy.
A simple prayer can have a life-changing outcome.
What is your simple prayer?
Why don’t you join me in mine?
Lord, Lead me today to those I need
And to those that need me,
And let something I do have eternal significance. Amen.