November 16, 2009

The Gift of Prayer

Is anyone tired of this gifts series yet? I hope not, because God has been pouring them on me. Not that everything's hunky-dory around here (forgive me, my Southern roots are showing!) There are days of pain and doubt and fear. Days of arguments and misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Days of wishing we were walking through anything but this.

I'm not a super Christian. Sometimes I wonder if by sharing these gifts I'm painting myself in that light. The truth is, I'm not even a particularly strong person. So please accept my apologies if I've led you to believe otherwise during these past few weeks. I'm praying that anything good you've seen here has been a testimony to Jesus and His all sufficient grace. Believe me when I tell you that it is NOTHING I'm doing.

But you can also believe me when I tell you that, even in the middle of circumstances I can.not.stand, God is good. He is faithful. He is loving and kind. He is the source of my strength. He is worthy of praise no matter what's going on in my life. Sometimes the knowledge that the Almighty Creator of the universe loves sinful ole' me and wants to spend time with me...well, that blows me away. One of the many things I've learned recently is that prayer isn't something I'm entitled to. It's a gift. Being able to voice my hopes and doubts to God, knowing that He is listening carefully, is a privilege.

Almost immediately after we found out about R's job, I knew the Lord was telling me to find prayer partners. I have friends across the country who've agreed to let me email them my requests so they can pray very specifically as R & I feel the Lord is leading. I have a mentor from my church whom I call regularly. (When I thanked her again this morning, she told me she was enjoying this.) What a blessing each and every one of them has been to me! I can honestly say I feel their prayers throughout each day. In the times I feel lowest, I remember that I have advocates pleading my case before our Father, even when all I can do is cry out, "Oh, God, please!"

Despite what the world would like us to believe, prayer is not a crutch. It's a blessing that binds us to the heart of God and brings the body of Christ closer together. It's the strategy that brings sure defeat to our enemy. It's the tonic that soothes my weary soul.
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.
~James 5:13 (ESV)


jenmom said...

Praying for you!
And no, I'm not tired of the "gift series"!!! I look forward to hearing how the Lord is working in your life and encouraged to see many of my prayers for you being answered!
As I mentioned some time before, I am walking through a very difficult thing right now with an extended family member. I am experiencing what it really means to trust God in all things.
I'm reading a book by Jerry Bridges entitled "Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts". Bridges says, "The Scriptures teach us three essential truths about God - truths we must believe if we are to trust Him in adversity. They are: God is completely Sovereign, God is infinite in wisdom, and God is perfect in Love."
Can't wait to learn more of the "gifts" our Lord showers upon you.

Carrie said...

Not tired of hearing about gifts!

Love your last statement - prayer is not a crutch. It binds us to God and to each other. That's a word picture worth thinking about!

mimi said...

I really liked this post. I'm not sure what is going on with R's husband is facing unemployment right now...and, well as I said...I really liked this post :)

Joanne (The Simple Wife) said...

No, prayer is not a crutch. It's a tool, a weapon, a resource. It is powerful.

Love your series, my friend. What shows is your desperation for God, your choosing to trust him in the unknown, your mindset.

Praying for the joy of the Lord to be your strength today!