I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God- it changes me.-C.S. Lewis
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.-John 14:13
Before going to college, I took a year off and headed to West Africa. I was volunteering with a Christian organization called Mercy Ships in the country of Liberia. Mercy Ships is a floating hospital that travels up and down the west coast of Africa to provide healthcare for the poorest of the poor.
I had left the States in hopes of a deeper relationship with Jesus. This was my hail-Mary pass, my attempt to push in all my chips, my last desperate stab at knowing God like never before. If I don’t experience him out here, I figured, then I probably never will. You see, I knew I was a Christian, but I also knew I wasn’t a very good one. Chronic sins plagued my life and I knew if ever I was to experience the freedom of God I longed for and read about in the lives of his saints, I had to do something drastic.
It was going pretty well. I was working faithfully in the ship’s kitchen to help feed the crew, serving in local orphanages on my days off, and spending a ton of time reading in the ship’s library due to the dullness of life spent docked in a port. But after three months, things were starting to get really stale. The awe-factor of being in a third-world country was wearing off, routine was setting in, and although I was no longer stuck in a sinful lifestyle like I was back home, I had yet to experience God the way I had hoped.