Never underestimate the difference a prayer can make. “Never stop praying” is one of the shortest verses in the Bible and yet it conveys a remarkable and unmistakable truth. Prayer makes a difference! Even when it may seem like a brief formality or something one does simply out of habit, prayer is nonetheless important and does make a difference. I learned this in an unforgettably humorous way back when I was a youth pastor.
One practice of prayer since my early days as a believer in Christ has been to pause before embarking on any long journey and pray to God for His traveling mercies. Typically it is a spontaneous type of prayer asking for His presence and protection as I and those with me travel to our destination. It is as simple as sitting in our vehicle just before starting out and bowing for a few moments in prayer. And as a leader I have always been particularly cognizant of the necessity of doing this whenever I have had a van or bus load of people heading out on an outing together.
One winter I chartered a school bus to take the youth from our church located in the Twin Cities (Minnesota) up into the woods of Northern Wisconsin for a weekend retreat. The retreat center was a rustic one that was situated just off an isolated forest road in the middle of nowhere.