Editor’s note: We’ve heard her sing. We all know that famous smile and red hair. Now, country music’s Reba McEntire shares her secret to the best things in life — keep it simple and be thankful for what the good Lord’s given you. Enjoy this excerpt from her new book, Not That Fancy.
I love to talk to God, and I’ve never been shy about asking Him for a helping hand. Doesn’t matter if a problem is big or small, I talk to God about it. But Daddy saw it a different way. Back when I first started singing, Mama let me wear one of Daddy’s championship belt buckles. You can see it on the cover of my album Whoever’s in New England. At one point, when I came home from touring, I realized I’d misplaced it. Daddy overheard me tell Mama that I’d been praying I would find that lost belt buckle.
“Reba,” Daddy said, “don’t bother God with silly stuff like that. He’s got more important things to deal with.”
That really shocked me because I asked God about everything!
Later on, when I came home from touring, I called Mama. She told me that my nephew, Vince, and our neighbor’s son had found the belt buckle in the dried-up creek bed! It might seem like a small answer to prayer, but it was a huge reminder for me that prayer works.
There is nothing too big or too small to pray to God about. He can do the impossible. You just have to ask.
The main thing I try to stay consistent with in my life is my relationship with the Lord. He’s always been there for me. My faith has gotten me through the loneliest of times. He’s that rock, that fortress you lean on when things go wrong.
The best way for me to be still in my spirit is to go out for a long walk. I love being outside and looking at God’s creation. Watching the clouds go by and listening to the birds sing always fills me with peace. I felt the same way when I was a girl riding through the hills on our ranch. There’s just something about being alone in nature that helps me listen in a way I can’t in the middle of the hustle and bustle of my usual life.
One day back in 2014, when I was out walking, I said, “Okay, Lord. What do You want me to do?” and He said, “Pray for peace.” So I did. A few days later I was out walking again, and I asked again, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” and again He said, “Pray for peace.”
“Well, I’ve been doing that.” “Sing it,” He said.
So I started singing, “Pray for peace. Pray for peace.”
A while after that, I asked God what He wanted me to do with that song, and He said, “Record it.”
So we did. We recorded it and made a music video that included people from all over the world praying for peace. I was so moved to see the Lord at work in the lives of so many different people in so many different places. I don’t write a lot of songs, but when the Lord gives you such clear direction, you listen.
When I’m going through something tough, most of the time God just wants me to be still and listen to the instructions He’s giving. It’s about His time, not my time. His will, His way. Not mine.
Another time when I was out walking, trying to process through my divorce, I heard God say, “When something like this happens, just say, ‘Oh well.’” So that’s what I do. Or sometimes I tell Him, “Okay, Big Boy. I can’t handle this. This is way over my pay grade.” And every time, He shows up and takes care of me.
When tough times come, we have to recognize that this life is not our own.
Sometimes there is nothing we can do but get out of the way and let God take control. I have full faith that God is in control and that He is bringing better things into my life, even if I can’t see them yet.
God is always there when you need Him. You might find Him in church, or you may be like me and feel closer to Him out in His creation. Get out in nature and let all the things God has made show you the way. Faith is never far away, and at least for me, the best evidence that God is always with us is right outside. I hope these words will help you to be still and listen for Him. And I hope you’ll find in Him what I always have — love, strength, peace, and wisdom.
Talkin’ to God
There are many ways to pray to the Lord. Here are a few you can try if you’re feeling stuck about how to talk to Him.
- Sing a song. The Bible talks about music an awful lot, and singing has always been part of the way we worship God. I love the praise-and-worship part of church and feel so close to Him when I’m singing.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to take over. When you don’t have the words, the Holy Spirit does.
- Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Let that be your starting point.
- Get out into nature. Just be still. Listen for God instead of doing all the talking.
- Read your Bible. Get into God’s Word and see what He tells you.
- Ask someone else to pray with you. We all know a few prayer warriors we can ask to help us out if we need it.
Excerpted with permission from Not That Fancy by Reba McEntire, copyright Reba McEntire.
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Don’t quit talking to God, no matter what! Bring Him every concern, big and small. He cares about what you care about. When tough times come, remember that this life belongs to Him. ~ Devotionals Daily