I’ve been feeling a real pull on my heart to pray. I haven’t really known what I was to be praying about, but I have felt the strongest need to go to my knees.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve lamented that the once very active prayer circle at our church no longer meets or receives updated “prayer lists.” I’ve felt strongly that some of the directions in which my church is going are not as they should be and that our church needs to be in prayer – before, during and after decisions are made.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe the leaders and decision-makers are praying – at least I surely hope so! I would like to have a concerted and public prayer emphasis though – with all of us praying for the same things: what God’s desire for us!
Back to my personal prayer status . . . I realized this morning that I can’t NOT pray just because “everyone” else isn’t in prayer. Besides, I don’t know that they’re not, since I haven’t really brought it up! Also, I think I had allowed myself to fall into a mindset of not believing my individual prayers would be effectual. And I have been known for many years to be a prayer warrior! Oh, my gosh!
This all points out some of the ways God continues to work in me, to refine me, to burn away everything that does not honor Him. My tendency to become self-absorbed shows that God still has much to do in order for me to reflect His light and love in the world. The evil one seizes opportunities to convince us our prayers are not powerful.
We begin to believe the lie when we perhaps have a couple of especially stressful or wearisome days and don’t pray through them. We may decide not to pray one evening. Then in the morning, since we slept late, we put it off until later in the day. Before long, several days have gone by and we haven’t consulted God about a single aspect of our lives; nor have we offered up a word of thanks or praise for all He is doing in and through our lives. It can happen so easily that we must ever be on our guard! We must stay disciplined in this area of our lives if any other areas of our lives are expected to flourish!
9. Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, "Because I bore him in pain." 10. Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that thou wouldst bless me and enlarge my border, and that thy hand might be with me, and that thou wouldst keep me from harm so that it might not hurt me!" And God granted what he asked. [1 Chronicles 4:9-10 RSV]
So, yesterday I reread Bruce Wilkinson’s Prayer of Jabez and I have committed to get back on track with my prayer life. He recommends praying the prayer daily and rereading the book once each week. One of the tenets of Wilkinson’s book is that when we ask God to ‘enlarge our territory’ (expand our ministry), He will do it, so be ready!
This morning I received a call from a really neat lady who lives in an area retirement community. I have preached there before as part of my Lay Speaking ministry. The last time I was there I incorporated my storytelling of the Samaritan Woman at the Well into my sermon. The rendition was very well received and called to ask me if I would come back specifically for the purpose of telling a story or two to the residents. OK, God! That was really quick!! That’s how it works though! If you ask God with a sincere heart, he WILL answer your prayer to do more for His kingdom.
So . . . To my knees I go. And on my knees I will go each and every day. I have felt somewhat restless—almost aimless though I am active and feeling called to help others in their efforts to fulfill God’s vision for their lives.
"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them." [Matthew 18:20 RSV]. So far I have met with one Christian sister to help her set up her web site, met with another Christian sister to help her launch her blog about her therapy dogs and what they have taught her about God. Next week I’m meeting with another Christian writer to help her organize her writings, formulate a plan for what/how will be done first, and then I will begin typing her writings.
I have offered my typing and other services to the members of RCWW at a drastically reduced price because I feel so strongly that their words need to be published and God’s kingdom advanced. These are such spirit-filled individuals and a spirit-filled group of writers! I have been encouraged, taught and sustained for several years through individuals in the group and I am blessed to be able to give back a small portion of those blessings.
I know that I will be busy in the months to come. God has closed some doors to open the windows of future opportunities that are ahead. OK – he actually slammed them and may have even nailed one or two shut – but I get it! I understand His direction and guidance because I seek it daily, if not hourly. How blessed I am to be used for His purposes!