TRANSCRIPT Episode 3: Prayer – speaking to God

Delight Podcast Transcript Accessibility Delight Podcast for new Christians and encouragement for others with Adam Curtis and Leah sax

Adam Curtis:
Hello and welcome to Delight podcast. I’m Adam Curtis.

Leah Sax:
And I’m Leah Sax.

And we are helping new Christians live for Jesus. On today’s episode, we’re going to be interviewing our friend Sarah Thrift and hearing all about prayer.

Leah Sax:
So as Adam already just told us, today’s guest is Sarah Thrift and she is the Minister for Children and Accessibility at All Saints Church in Crowborough, and she works there alongside her husband, Adam, who we actually met already in the first episode of Delight podcast. Now, so this is a really interesting title and I have so many questions. I don’t quite know where to start. So I’m going to give you a big open question. What do you find most exciting about your work?

Sarah Thrift:
Well, I love working with children and young people, so that’s part of my job title. So even though I’m Minister for Children, actually do a lot of youth work as well. And I just love seeing young people love Jesus basically so and just so inspiring. So we’ve got this young boy at the moment who is being bullied in school because he’s a Christian, but he’s just so keen to keep on following Jesus and for the people who are bullying him to follow Jesus as well. And it’s just so inspiring when young people live like that. And it’s it’s just yeah. It’s just really encouraging to keep going and keep teaching them about Jesus and support them. But, yeah, the other part of my role is thinking about accessibility, so how we can help our whole church be really welcoming to people with particularly intellectual disabilities. And actually, it’s it’s a real challenge to the gospel is a message, isn’t it? But if you’re non-verbal and you struggle to understand stuff and struggle to understand the message or to read the Bible or for some people even to get into church and so, yeah, that’s a real a real challenge, and it’s really teaching me to trust God and to just to see his great faithfulness in bringing the right people with the right skills at the right time. And yeah, that the gospel is true for people with with any disability. It’s true for all people.

Leah Sax:
It’s so helpful to hear that and to be reminded that the gospel is for everyone. Good to hear how you’ve been helping about that in the local church context, how the gospel come to all people in the local church. It does kind of beg the question how you got there in the first place, because that’s quite the skill set and I haven’t really thought about that much before. How did you get to where you are today?

Sarah Thrift:
I grew up going to church and actually became a Christian when I was five or six years old. So I remember being in Sunday school and we were learning about Jesus saying go and be a fishers of men, go teach people about me, basically. And I was I was colouring in a fish and I was really pleased with my fish.

Leah Sax:
hahahaa!!

Sarah Thrift:
And so I refused to go and play the game that I was meant to be playing because I was like really into this fish and so the leader of the group stayed with me, chatting to me whilst these other kids play the game. He was talking about how I could be friends with Jesus. And so I was right, Oh, that sounds really good. Do you like my fish?

Leah Sax:
haaaa!

And but then he must have been so discouraged because I wasn’t doing what I was told and I was like, totally ignoring him. Or it seemed I was. But actually went home and I was thinking about what he said and I said, yeah, do you want to be friends with Jesus. And so I prayed that he would be my friend. And literally, that’s the only time I ever remember going to sleep, like with a huge grin on my face. And I was so excited to be Jesus’ friend. And basically from that young age, I thought, there is nothing better I can do than be a full time Christian. And I was like fairly convinced that that wasn’t a job. I didn’t know working for church was a thing because I was like 6 years old.

Sarah Thrift:
Yeah, that’s what I always wanted to do. I always wanted to be a full time Christian. And actually when I went to university, I discovered that that was a thing you could do. You could work for church. So I did an apprenticeship after my university degree and because I became a Christian in Sunday school. And remember that so clearly, I was always convinced of how important children’s ministry is, like teaching children about Jesus. Children can believe the Gospel and become friends with Jesus at any age.

Sarah Thrift:
But in terms of accessibility stuff, I have a hearing impairment. And so as a child at different points, almost completely deaf. And so I kind of had that experience of being, of feeling isolated and excluded from stuff simply because I couldn’t hear people. And so I kind of had that going on in the background. And my mum was a teacher for the deaf as it happened

Leah Sax:
In the Lord’s providence…

Sarah Thrift:
Yup! And so also was kind of went to work with us sometimes because I was the youngest kid and just got dragged around. And so I was in special schools and that kind of stuff seeing that in action and then working with children and young people, you always get children with different additional needs.

Leah Sax:
Yeah.

Sarah Thrift:
So kind of on the job working out how can we help this child or help this family has made me realise that as a church, Well, not very good at it, and we need to do a lot more, and so I just began researching what can we do, just kind of grown from that. God’s given me a real passion to make the gospel accessible for all people.

Leah Sax:
Amen! So Saah We’ve heard that your time of uni ended up with you going, I want to do an apprenticeship. How did that kind of transition work? What do you think the Lord was teaching you during that time? Was it kind of perfectly clear that that would be where you would end up?

Sarah Thrift:
You’ll see, when I tell you the story of how my decision making is not thought through. I went to uni having just been on a mission trip. And so having always had this kind of thought that I wanted to be a full time Christian, but thought I that’s that’s not a thing kind of deep desire. Going on the mission trip, we went to Kenya and did some work with children, young people in Kibera slum. So I was really passionate about being a full time Christian when I went to Uni. And then in my first term, this person started reading the Bible with me, who is a friend of ours actually from camp. So she was in her third year we were doing a one to one, and she was just about to start the apprenticeship at St Leonard’s Church, which is where I went to the apprenticeship. And she was going to do two years. And I thought, well, that’s perfect, because after she’s finished, I’ll just have graduated. So I’ll take on that job. And that was it. In My first term of uni I decided that’s what I was gonna do. I never thought about it again until I, literally on my way walking to the interview for the apprenticeship, had this thought, oh, if I don’t get this, I have no other plan. Thankfully, I got. I was.

Leah Sax:
Yeah. Amazing. Amazing.

Adam Curtis:
Ok, Sarah, you’re working with children. You work with people with disabilities. I think lots of people from the outside will look at you and be like, wow, she’s just she’s just very mature. And she’s had a point in her Christian journey, which I just don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to to reach. As you sort of look back over over your life. Were there particular moments of spiritual growth or there particular means by which you’ve been maturing in the faith?

Sarah Thrift:
First of all, I would say, yeah, don’t look at me and think she’s all sorted about all but yeah, I think the times when I’ve grown the most and I think probably what the Bible tells us about the times, you will wear the most times when things are really hard, because they are the times when you really have to learn to rely on God and you kind of have to you have to keep going. You have to persevere. And you learn a lot through those times, but they’re not necessarily nice. So actually our a first for the year this year linked to our accessibility ministry is “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”, which is 2 Corinthians 12 verse 9 talking about that actually when we are weak, that that is when God is strong and that is when we learn to rely on that strength from God. And so I think times when either my work has been hard or the stuff in my personal life has been hard. I have been the times which God is growing me the most and helped to to trust in him the most.

Leah Sax:
Sarah you’ve talked about times of struggle, but you clearly from a young age, have had a very strong conviction of what you wanted to do. Have you ever doubted kind of, where you should be or what you should be doing, or has this conviction is even really strong?

Sarah Thrift:
We did. We we had one particular job, which was in a quite difficult church and there wasn’t a lot of support and people were quite against children being taught the Bible. Actually, that was really hard. So there was a time oh, this is too hard. But I don’t think I wanted to stop doing it. I just wanted them to stop thinking I shouldn’t do it.

Leah Sax:
Yeah. So when you look back at that time, do you think, oh, this is what the Lord was teaching me? Have you taken that time to think how is that part of my life, part of my walk with Jesus?

Sarah Thrift:
Yeah, I think, during, so that was for a couple of years we were at that church and it has really taught, I think actually really taught me patience and just trusting in God and trusting that even when there’s opposition, his word is powerful. So we still saw him do amazing things and children coming to trust in him, even though we were actually told at different points that we should stop telling them about Jesus and stop teaching in the Bible and also trying to see good in people who are opposing you. That was a really good lesson. So just trying to learn to love people in a way that Jesus tells us to when this when they’re actually standing against Jesus. I actually well, and this is quite a good Segway into what we’re going to talk about. We’re talking about prayer. Actually, it was it was praying for them. So it’s really hard to be against someone or to feel bad about someone if you’re actively praying for them and caring about them. So, yeah, actively making yourself pray for them.

Leah Sax:
You know, Sarah, I remember you telling me that one time when I was how should I say this, struggling with someone, it’s something that’s really stuck with me. So thank you for encouraging me at that time my life. And I really can’t wait to see what you have to share with us about prayer. Thanks so much.

Adam Curtis:
Well, that was a joy, Sarah, to get to know you a bit a little bit better and to hear how God has been working in your life. We’re not going to be moving on to our topic of today, which is prayer. For many people who might come to faith, particularly if they haven’t been brought up in a Christian sort of home, the idea of prayer can seem quite alien and can seem quite strange, a little bit odd. And I’ve heard people said that actually is prayer. Just just wishing, just wishing to the end. What would you respond to? Someone who said prayer was just wishing?

Sarah Thrift:
I think that wishing is is pretty selfish most of the time. You’re wishing for something or you’re wishing that you didn’t do something and that something was different. It’s quite sort of self focused and self involved in your your wanting stuff. That is not what prayer is about. So prayer is, we might think it’s just about asking for stuff, but it’s not. Actually prayer is about having a relationship with God. It’s not like wishing at all because some of the times you pray you won’t be asking for anything. You’ll be just thanking God or praising God. Yeah, that’s not not the same. But also wishing is really uncertain, isn’t it? So, like, if you wish for something, you kind of you just hoping that you get it or you’re hoping the best for someone else. But there’s no power behind it. It’s just sentiment, whereas prayer has huge amounts of power behind it because you are literally praying to the creator of the universe. And he’s he says if you’re a Christian, he will listen to you and his power is at your disposal, as it were. Not not for all things, but actually, yeah, there’s huge power in prayer. If you wish someone the best, there’s nothing there. But if you pray for them, then huge things might happen.

Adam Curtis:
Yeah, that’s really that’s really helpful you say that because I’ve often thought with this whole linking between prayer and wishing actually like who is hearing or wishes. Or actually sometimes people use the language of positive affirmation and positive thoughts, like projecting positivity into the universe. But who is hearing that positivity. At best its just a mindless force. Why should a mindless force care about what I’m praying about or care about the people in my life. Who’s actually hearing this where the difference. Yeah. With prayer is, oh, it’s our Heavenly Father who’s hearing this. Oh, this is crazy. The whole world. He’s hearing this.

Leah Sax:
Yeah. It’s so interesting that you say that, Adam, because I’ve I’ve heard people say I feel like I’m speaking to myself. If someone said that to you, Sarah, what would you come back at them with?

Sarah Thrift:
This is like a really geeky answer. You know, you may have heard of the Puritans. They were Christians.

Leah Sax:
You guys can’t see this, but Adam is kind of like pumping his fist. Yeah, like ‘wooo, puritans’.

Sarah Thrift:
Yeah. But they they they had a saying or at least one of them had this saying that pray until you pray, and which I think is actually really helpful because often I feel like I’m just maybe going through the motions of prayer and just rattling off a list and going, oh, I need to remember to say thank you. So thank you. Go through the good things. Please give me this and this and this. And I really want a good day, but that’s not really praying. And so I really will feel like I’m not talking to go then because I’m not really talking to God. But if I keep praying, I will pray until I pray. And that is kind of bringing your focus onto God and actually thinking about him. But sometimes it will feel that God is distant, like sometimes it does feel like you’re talking to yourself. I know someone, though, to kind of help with that. Well, because the truth is, like you are talking to God and he promises to hear. So even if you don’t feel like that’s true, we can know that it is. I’ve got a friend who actually set up an email account, which they never accessed, but they send emails to. And so they basically they send prayers to this e-mail account and it feels then to them that’s really helped them when they press send. It is like I actually have sent that to God and it actually goes away from them. So that is just the way they’ve kind of helped themselves feel like they are sending that to God.

Leah Sax:
Yeah, I used to do that with my sister. We used to write our prayers in an imaginary hot air balloon and send them up to the Lord. I mean, obviously the Lord isn’t up there, but it was just a really helpful way of sending the prayers to our father.

Sarah Thrift:
Yeah.

Adam Curtis:
Can we just Nail down the definition of privacy? Are we saying prayers, giving something up to the Lord? What exactly are we saying that prayer is?

Sarah Thrift:
When I teach children in junior church, I always say prayer is just talking to God.

Leah Sax:
It is just like you and I are talking now?

Sarah Thrift:
Yep. But because God can hear your thoughts, you could talk to him in your mind. He can read what you’ve written so you could talk to him through writing. But it is talking to God. So However you want to I guess send that message to God. I mean now with mobile phones we kind of use as an example, you might text someone, you might send them a picture or something like that that still kind of talking to that person. So there are different ways that we can communicate. So maybe I should broaden it out and say it’s communicating with God, but children don’t understand what the word communication means.

Leah Sax:
Ok, OK, so the three of us are hanging out here. We’re talking to each other. One of us talks, another one of us responds. We’re having a conversation. It can feel that prayer doesn’t have that response aspect of communication. What do you think about that?

Sarah Thrift:
Well, again, I it’s in Sunday school is say, well, God talks to us in the Bible primarily, and we talk to him in prayer. And so that can be a conversation. So actually, that’s why when we can pray whenever, but actually it’s really helpful to have prayer times where we’ve read the Bible and then our prayers are responding to whatever God has said in the Bible. So maybe something we need to change in our lives. We should pray about that. Maybe it’s something amazing we see that he’s done for us and we thank him for that. But in that way, we are kind of in an odd way, having a conversation with him. Again, I come back to the friends who you pray and actually when you get, I guess, into prayer, it doesn’t feel like you’re just jabbering away to yourself. You do. You are with God, you kind of have a sense that you are with God.

Adam Curtis:
Thanks for that, Sarah. And actually links into why this is the third of our episode. The first episode we’re looking at reading God’s word, then we’re looking at meditating on God’s word. Now we’re looking at praying to God. So this is the means by how this conversation flows from God’s word. We then are led into prayer, and that’s why it is such an actual conversation. OK, so prayer is talking to God is a conversation with God. So that’s what it is. But why would I want to do this?

Sarah Thrift:
Well, actually, so I’ve kind of come back to what I said, that it’s it’s about a relationship. And so prayer is is more than just asking for stuff, just bringing needs to God. It’s actually part of your relationship with Him. So in the world, you can’t have a relationship with someone that you just never talk to. You only talk to them when you need something, because that’s not a very good relationship. And so God saved us to be with us to to make us His people. Prayer is is part of that part of talking to our father. We’re his children. And we can have this honour of talking to him whenever we want about anything we want. But more than that, like he is the creator of the universe. So Hebrews 4 talks about how we can in prayer, we have we can have confidence to come before the throne of God, the throne of the one who made everything, who is currently sustaining everything. Like that is a massive privilege, which we can just do whenever we want. It’s like being the child of a of a king or queen and just being able to run up and and tell them, oh, this terrible thing has happened to me. My balloon is burst, you know, whatever child to tell their mommy or daddy, we have that privilege with God. And so that is a huge part of why we should pray, because it’s an amazing thing to be able to pray. But also, this is this is preacher called John Piper. He has this one sermon that I particularly love, which is not prayer, just the one the rest are rubbish ha!

Leah Sax:
Just the one hhaha!

Sarah Thrift:
He says prayer changes the world and he kind of yells it a lot. Prayer changes the world so like you meet at five in the morning with one other person. And it’s hard, but you’re changing the world. And actually, yeah, that’s why we should pray. Prayer changes things. Prayer is tapping into the power of the creator God, who wants to hear from us, who wants to answer our prayers. There’s a lot of reasons to pray that I think

Adam Curtis:
That’s beautiful. Prayer changes the world. Can we push into that? How how does prayer change the world?

Sarah Thrift:
Because of who God is and because of this amazing privilege he’s given us to be his children, that he wants to work through us. So he wants us to be part of what he’s doing in the world. That’s why when you become a Christian, you’re not just, you know, immediately taken up to heaven. Actually, you remain on this world to do God’s work. And prayer is is part of that. We can do nothing without God. So, like John, Chapter 15, the vine and the branches. We can do nothing apart from God, but we can do great things with God. Yeah, that’s how it changes the world. So you if God is in control of everything else, us praying for Myanmar and people there is going to make a difference that God will listen to us and will answer our prayers. And it might not be in this way that we would want, where total peace breaks out over the whole world. We know that will happen in the future, but that’s not what God promises now. But it will make a difference. Even, for example, there’s a couple in our church at The moment who had a very premature baby and our church has been having special prayer meetings for them. We’ve got individuals praying and we’re seeing answers to prayer daily for this delicate little life. Prayer is changing the world for her, for them, as God listens, enhances our prayers for her just gaining a couple of ounces a day.

Leah Sax:
So, Sarah, you’ve used the phrase that God is in control. Thank goodness he is. But if you’re saying God is in control, what’s the point of praying if he’s just going to do it anyway?

Sarah Thrift:
That’s a really good question. And I think I come back to what I said, that prayer is about relationship. So a lot of what prayer is isn’t asking for stuff. It is about having that relationship with God. And yeah, we can ask him for big things and prayer changes the world, but it’s also about showing our reliance on God, our trust in the fact that without him we can do nothing but with him, we can do all things, and that he will give us his strength in our weakness. And also it does strengthen our faith in Him. So there’s a great story told by missionaries of this little girl. It was a long time ago they were on an island and there were no planes at this time. So everything needed to come by boat and it would take months for this boat to reach the island. It was like an orphanage and there was a baby who’d come in and she was really very ill and she needed to be kept warm. The little girl prayed that the boat would come tomorrow because the day after would be too late and that in the post there would be a hot water bottle to keep the baby warm. And there was another little girl who lost her teddy. And she said, and also we really want another teddy for this other girl. She prayed it and the next day in that boat, both of those things came in the post. But the amazing thing is, is that the little girl prayed that the day before the boat left port months before. And so, God, because he’s in control, he’s he’s outside of time. He had already heard the girls prayer and answered it so that by the time the girl prayed it the next day, her answers come in time.

Leah Sax:
ah!!!

Sarah Thrift:
And that your reaction that in such a encouraging story is why we should pray, because we see God answer, we see His power, we see his love, and it builds our faith and it changes things.

Leah Sax:
YES!!!

Adam Curtis:
These are wonderful stories and it’s such a secret to be encouraged to get on our knees and pray. And to enact this relationship we have with the Divine. This is a huge topic, but lots of encouraging words might you give to someone who feels that their prayers haven’t been answered?

Sarah Thrift:
I was reading a book the other day which which really helped me with this. It’s called The Life You Never Expected, there’s a Big Penguin on the front cover. That’s how I remember what books are, it’s just the story of this couple. They’ve had two children with severe autism and it’s kind of how they coped with that and what they’ve been learning through that process. One of the things they are constantly praying for is sleep because they don’t get any sleep and so they’re days are exhausting and they said something really helpful. So often they don’t actually get the sleep that they’ve asked for, but they need to remind themselves that as they’re praying to their father who loves them, it’s not because he doesn’t love them, it’s not because he doesn’t want good things for them. It’s actually because he’s got something better and they might not know what that is and they might not see what that is until heaven. But he loves them. He’s their father and he’s in control and he knows what’s best for them. So he’s got something better than sleep for them. And then so they change their prayers to be saying, teach us show us what it is that you’ve got better for us and help us to trust that it’s true even if we don’t see what it is.

Adam Curtis:
Oh, that is absolutely beautiful. Thank you, Sarah, for giving us a real vision for what prayer is and why we should be praying, that we want to be engaging in this relationship with our Heavenly Father, maybe could be just now down a few practicalities. How do we go about praying?

Sarah Thrift:
I mean, I think there are there are many ways that we can pray. I think, as I said earlier, it is talking to God and say I have heard people say things like, oh, I pray by playing football. And I would suggest no you don’t, by playing football. But you can definitely glorify God by playing football and by playing in a godly way and and all of that, because we can do all things for God’s glory. But I don’t think it’s prayer. Prayer is is talking to God is bringing things to God’s praising him. And yes, it is those things we can pray about, but it is about communication. So whilst I think there are ways you shouldn’t pray like playing football. You’re probably not actually playing praying. I know lots of people who go for walks and that helps them pray. So because we know that God can hear our thoughts and know what we’re thinking, we can pray in our head so you don’t have to walk long and pray out loud. I know some people do that they look a bit mad, but that’s fine. They’re happy with it. I know Some people who hold a phone. So it looks like they’re having a conversation.

Leah Sax:
well they are Having conversation.

Sarah Thrift:
Well, yes, they are having a conversation. But yeah, I’ve got I’ve got friends who walk around town because they’ll want to pray for particular businesses or people or whatever. They just like walking to pray by walking. I think it’s really good to have a set time in your day, when you’re going to read the Bible and pray and yeah, whenever that is, whatever that works for you doesn’t have to be a long time. But I just think it’s important to have a particular time of your doing that and you’re not doing something else. Or maybe if you like, you could read the Bible and then go for a walk and pray about it, that kind of thing. I find it helpful, actually, to pray out loud because it helps me not to get distracted. So I will try and have a time in my day when I’ve read the Bible and then I pray out loud to God. But then throughout the day I’ll continue to be praying about things. And often they’re just things, I think, sort of thinking prayers.

Leah Sax:
So, Sarah, you’ve just talked about thinking prayers, but if you wanted to go and sit down and take time to pray, kind of my question is, where do you start? I’ve heard the kind of the sorry, thank you, please kind of formula. And to be honest, I’ve been praying so long, I can’t quite remember where I started. I mean, would you start with, dear God, any tips for us on that?

Sarah Thrift:
This only took me a really long time to get my head around. So even when I was a Christian in my early twenties, I found it really hard to call God father in my prayers because I would start with dear God. But I actually do think it is really important that we call him father because it is that relationship and it makes it less like a sort of letter where you’re just going to ask for stuff for you. You remind yourself straightaway, this is my father that I’m talking to you. He loves me. So I would start with Father God and actually I would try and start with praise, with thanking. So I’ve been really struck recently that a lot of the times, Yeah, a lot of the times we struggle or since we’re kind of in the answer is thankfulness. So we were thinking about pride in our youth group. And actually the way to be humble is to be thankful, to thank God for the good things you’ve got with anxiety, like with with our general day to day worries. Actually, what does Philippians say? Be thankful. Bring those things to God with Thanksgiving and he’ll give you peace. But yes, I think thankfulness is actually much more important than we give it credit for and is a cure for so many things, bitterness and anger and pride and all of those things. So I pray to your father and I would begin with thanks. And actually, I used to do this thing where I started a list of 10 things initially on the list of things I thankful for the spiritual things like, you know, salvation, could be that sunny today or whatever. That one isn’t true every day. But then then every day I’d add one more thing to the list and just see how far I could keep going. And I kept going for a really, really long time because it helped me to see how much I have to be thankful for. And that was a really good practice for me to do.

Adam Curtis:
It’s interesting about the power of thankfulness because actually as we start to thank the Lord for the good things he’s he’s given us, we realise how many good things he has given us. And as I start to realise how many good things he has given us, then actually our hearts turn away from that bitterness to praise, and actually it can have a great emotional impact upon us

Sarah Thrift:
And it can help us with perspective as well. Just thinking through then if you leave you’re asking for things last, then it can help us have a right perspective on that and to trust God more. If we just thanked him for all he’s done for us, we go into asking with this trust that he’s already provided so much so he’s not going to withhold good things from us.

Adam Curtis:
Amen.

Leah Sax:
Considering I have been praying for much of my adult life, it was amazing to me how how radical a lot of her ideas were that prayer changes the world. And it’s something that I’m so familiar with but I forgot it’s radical, radical changing nature and how transformative it is.

Adam Curtis:
Yeah, that’s so true, isn’t it? Because actually, if you feel like you’re in your room or it’s you and a prayer meeting at church, or it’s you and one or two friends. It doesn’t feel in itself like a big action. And actually, when we remember who it is or what he’s hearing these prayers. Yeah, right. And when I go. I know. Is there anything is anything more we could be doing?

Leah Sax:
I know. I know. And after hearing Sarah share about prayer, it made me want to go and pray to our Heavenly Father.

Adam Curtis:
I really like how she highlighted that there’s actually different times that we pray. So actually building a daily routine where we sit with a notebook and without and pray after we’ve read God’s word. And this conversation with our Heavenly Father. And so this is set time. We pray each day. But there’s also the relational element of praying just through life when we’re going for walks, when we’re. Yeah, when we’re going for walks. Actually, that reminds me of times when, you know, I pray every morning and pray every evening. But I’m also I’m praying during the day.

Leah Sax:
Yeah. Pray continuously.

Adam Curtis:
Yeah, pray continuously yeah.

Leah Sax:
I once I still do have this lovely friend actually. And she once told me that every time she walked into a grocery store she would pray for the people working there, the few people who prepared everything kind of these trigger prayers that she was doing. So it became, you know, every time she went to a different place, she sat down to have a cup of coffee. She’d pray about these things. And it really kind of helped reshape my own thinking about prayer in this kind of slightly different Christian habits or habitual kind of prayer, which was just really helpful. And I’m just really challenged by everything we’ve heard today to just pray more.

Leah Sax:
So, Sarah, we’ve been enjoying giving our guests a final bonus surprise question, which is what is the one piece of advice they would give to the younger selves?

Sarah Thrift:
I think my wisdom would be, be realistic. So I’m a bit of an all or nothing kind of a person at points. So like I definitely thought and possibly still occasionally feel this to do a quiet time, to spend time with God, it would have to be an hour long every day. And if I didn’t do that, then, you know, disaster. And then obviously when when I didn’t do that, it would throw off the whole thing and I would wouldn’t do quiet talks. If I don’t have an hour, I can’t do it, because that was that was totally unrealistic. So actually, I’d say it’s OK to just spend if you have five minutes, use that five minutes. And if you if you are struggling to read the Bible or pray every day, try and pray three times a week, that’s better than not doing it at all. And actually you can build up from there. So if you if you build up from success, it’s much more motivating than aiming for an hour a day and failing. So, yeah, be realistic, aim low and build up from there.

Leah Sax:
Sarah, I thank you so much for your great wisdom. Be realistic. Great talking to you, Sarah Thrift.

Leah Sax:
So a huge thank you to Sarah for being a delight podcast guest today, if you’d like to learn more about that John Piper Sermon on Prayer, as well as the book she mentioned the life you never expected you can find info in our show notes. We’d love to hear from you. You can find us on Instagram @Delightpodcast. And our email is Hello at Delight podcast dot com. If you fancy Twitter and Facebook, just search Delight podcast. If you think what you’ve heard today might be of interest to others, please do like to share ideas. This is Adam and Leah a delightfully signing off.

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