Resolve and Father’s Day.

beautiful sunset Savannah Rapids Pavilion early June 2017
God is trustworthy…in building a beautiful world, in bringing ultimate redemption of humankind…in a humble way, a babe born in a manger and ultimately a resounding way, Christ coming for us in the clouds. His love is redemptive.

I love this word!  Resolve and discipline is something my dad and my Father in Heaven have often told me are so important in life.  My dad was so very disciplined and had so much resolve.  I remember seeing his eyes squint and his furrow tighten before he would go on a long run or a long hike…sometimes one that would last for a day or two.  He also had such sacrificial love for our family.  He was quite unselfish and I remember looking into the deep, dark brown eyes of his, knowing he would never let me down.  He was true to his promises and he was always thinking about me.  I was a priority in his life.  I knew it deep into my soul.  I was fortunate to have a dad who was relentlessly interested in my life.  I was blessed to have a dad who was faithful to my mom openly and quietly.   I was blessed to have a dad who lived and breathed his family.  I was blessed to have a dad who spent an inordinate amount of time with his children.  My dad and I have so, so many memories together.  Some beautiful.  Some hard.  Some very hard.  But, thank God he cared enough to spend his life with me and to propel me out of the house at 18.  I’m thankful for those years.  As my dad said to me recently as he watched me parent my children…”it’s a marathon Dawn.”  It truly is!!  I thought, what better way to prepare for this marathon than to run one to strengthen my body and mind.Tonight, as I went for a long walk alongside Savannah Rapids Pavilion I had time to think and ponder my days right now.  I thought about the beautiful aspects of the Lord, my true husband right now.  My heart grew fond and I was able to let go of bitterness.  I hear God speaking to me.  I try to obey.  I wait and pray for the right one.  I am glad there is Scripture in the Bible that says to “lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge the Lord and He will make your paths straight.”  Thank God we are not left up to our own ideas of what is right and what is wrong.  If I did what I felt or what I wanted right now in the flesh, I think I might end up in a pit.  But, for the grace of God holds me back from such foolish decisions.

Back to the subject of love though…I don’t think you can just stop loving someone who you have been with for so long.  However, I feel my heart forcibly moving on too.  I am resolved to let go and stop mourning the loss and to move on to great things God has in store for my future.

For me, my kids will always remain a huge priority for me, but I find myself really drawing closer to the One who is greater than anything on this earth.  And out of His love in return comes more love into my heart to love on my kids even more than I could on my own, and to find forgiveness and a release of bitterness toward the parts of my past that just hurt.

I look to Christ, He was taken advantage of, mistreated, betrayed..but, He willingly gave his life, he willingly forgave.  I ask God for the strength to do this as He calls me to, particularly when I know I am being taken advantage of.  I love the picture of willing, sacrificial love.  I think it touches God’s heart to see it.  I pray I have the strength to keep giving when I don’t receive anything in return.  It is hard.

Back to the subject of a husband…As I walked tonight, I thought…oddly enough in a sort of healing way, in heaven, we’ll have no husband.  There will only be the Lord and we’ll be together as saints reigning with God.  So, if that is the picture of heaven, a place of perfect bliss, it is then possible to cling only to the Lord here on earth.  I do want to say, I really believe that God has a man for me someday in His appointed time, and I sensed Him speaking very specifically to me about this mid-October 2016, two weeks after my husband suddenly left…but I feel called to wait for this man.

I want to share you some of my prayers of recent for the sake of honesty and transparency, a liberty I allow myself on my blog, but not so much in person anymore.  I’ll get to that in a second, but first a more light hearted note:

I have received such a myriad of advice from many well-meaning friends…some make me just chuckle.  God has brought the sweetest people in my life continually flowing.  I almost think that someday I will thank God for this period of my life, hard as it may be right now.  I see the depth of God’s love for me and I see Him pursuing me relentlessly.  I suppose if God is “love” than He truly knows how to love!!!  One of my friends of recent told me to ask God specifically for what I want in a man.  I could tell she wanted me to get really specific!  I said, “you mean like a Scottish accent, blue eyes, and so on?”  She gave her affirmation.  I told her with a loving chuckle, “really, don’t you think God knows the perfect man for me?”  I could tell Him what I want, but do I really know what I need? I think God knows what I want and what I need even more than I do, without me telling Him.  So, here is my prayer: I have asked God for one thing: a heart of PURE GOLD.  I want a man who loves the Lord with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength.  I want a man who is a good father.  I am so glad I will get to see that right off the bat this time!  One good thing about dating with children in the home is that when the gentlemen is around the kids, he will be tested right off the bat in his skills with children.  So many women get married and they want to marry men who will make good fathers some day, but they simply do not know whether they will be or not.  This is one plus amongst many other “hard” aspects of dating with young children around.

Resolve.  I am resolving to let go of bitterness, with every step of my day, with every step of my walks, with every step I take to train for my marathon in the fall, with every second I spend pouring into these littles.  Today, I wondered as I spend so much precious time with them.  As I teach and repeat Scripture and hope and pray they turn out wonderfully despite all this….Is my work noticed by you God?  Will there be fruit from it?  God gave me a verse as I started to doubt….and grow numb after quite a few hours with them.

Deuteronomy 16:15:

“For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.”

Yahoo!  I am resolved to choose to believe this.  My Emma grabbed this Scripture vitamin and handed it to me right before a huge meltdown.  Oh thank-you Lord, your word truly is living water that quenches my thirst.

I keep reminding myself that my work is so small, yet God’s work is so big.  I plant the seeds, the seeds are God’s Word and they will not return to Him void.  That’s a pretty wonderful promise.

Back to the other underlying struggles of my days right now:

I am resolved to leave into God’s hands the avenging.  How long O Lord will you wait to avenge what you know was so, so wrong?  The delay makes those who have wronged me actually feel like they did nothing wrong.  “See, the Lord does not act,” they think, they say.”  “See, the Lord is actually blessing me.”  All I can do is wait.  Trust.  Be Still. Rest.  Enjoy Life. And wait.  Perhaps I will have redemption only in God’s good plan waiting to be fulfilled in my life.  Perhaps God is just too good to punish us for what we deserve.  But, isn’t that what we all need?  Grace?  Mercy? Perhaps then, only those who are truly punished are those who abuse God’s grace or mock God.

God gave me the story of Pharaoh.  He reminded me today that He made Pharaoh’s heart hard.  I knew that from the words written clearly in the story the Bible, but I still think when I see hard hearts around me, that it’s the enemy’s work.  That struck me deep today.  “Wait, Dawn, this is the Lord’s work.”  But, why?  Moses was a man of great obedience and faith (after a bit of prodding).  He was brave to go before Pharaoh and proclaim God’s Word.  And yet, nothing.  Plague after plague came upon Egypt.  Disobedience on the part of Pharaoh…such tremendous pride and cruelty.  But.  The Lord told me today.  It was to DISPLAY MY POWER to those nations all around.  God had a plan for it.  I realized, on a little scale, when God delivers me, if I have been faithful, everyone around me will see God’s ultimate power displayed in my life.  I pray this may be true for me tonight.

True waiting as a Christian is waiting with a trusting, happy heart.  Many Christian has gone astray waiting a while, but then not being able to wait any longer, they give in and develop their own plan to make their dreams come true.  “Oh, Lord, give me strength to wait patiently with great anticipation of what you will do for me and my children.”  Amen.

I’m waiting for an amazing Father this Father’s Day 2017 for my children and also for one who will be just right for me.  I’m waiting to see my children see a man love his wife in their own home, the way I always dreamed love should be.  I am waiting for God’s plan for me to unfold in my life.  And while I wait, I must let God refine and prepare me…and be satisfied with His love only.  I think I can do this.  With resolve and a whole huge dose of help from God.  Good thing He’s strong enough!!

 

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Road to Prayer

Simple expression of an indescribable relationship…(side note, aren't my husband's hands so beautiful?!)
Simple expression of an indescribable relationship…(side note, aren’t my husband’s hands so beautiful?!)

This is my road to Prayer ~

I’m excited about this ministry God has given me…to pray for others.  It is something we are all called to do.  I love that.  I have been reflecting on my road to Prayer Coordinator in PWOC, all the things God has shown and taught me–  Here are a few 🙂

* God is so merciful to hear and answer our prayers…no matter what the situation…He desires relationship…

* Everyone prays in their own unique way according to their own unique design.

* As prayer coordinator, I am: Clothed in His Robe, Walking in His Authority, and with His Vision Poured into me.

* This is a large, rich and experienced body of believing women…but God IS ABLE and He will guide me.  I will be walking with so many wonderful women of God in this ministry. I shall raise my hands up, like Moses, and the Prayer Vine shall hold them up for me.  I am to pray from my calling as prayer coordinator, and based off the Lord’s relationship with me.

* To pray with a thankful, not heavy heart…for all the things He hath already done!

* Pushing back Darkness…often, in my days, I feel as though I am pushing back darkness through prayer and obedience to Christ…I am praying, I am following, and God is pushing the darkness back.  I am weary….often actually…but He keeps me going.

* Ask, Seek, Knock–God keeps telling me I have not, because I ask not.  And when I ask, boldly, according to His heart, HE never ceases to AMAZE me.

* Preparing My Face–I felt the past month, God preparing my me to Seek His Face.  He showed me John Wesley’s book, How to Pray, and it has been instrumental in teaching me about prayer.

* I am learning more about God’s grace and MERCY than anything else….most often, I find answers to prayers for Mercy.

* To be transparent…I am struggling to keep in continual prayer…as I see His power and glorious answers to prayer, the enemy attacks…it is a FIGHT to stay connected…to WANT to pray….I see Him give me more prayer requests that need prayer immediately…I see Him move my heart to pray once again.  I feel the burden…the responsibility to pray…I MUST pray.  I MUST stay connected.  Lord, Help me be worthy of this position…this calling to pray.

What IF ???

What if you knew that your prayer could save a life?

What if you knew that your prayer could change a life?

What if you knew that your prayer is HEARD and ANSWERED…in some way, right away?

What if you knew the DEPTH of how God delights, cares, and ANSWERS your prayers? Regardless.

I’ve seen God answer prayers in such miraculous ways at times…and others, what seems like painstakingly slow ways…but He always answers in some way, right away…even if the answer is to wait…He sends something to help me wait.

I’m learning so much about prayer right now…and I’m looking forward to capturing all that God is teaching me here sometime soon…but one thing I learned last Sunday was that the “prayers of a righteous man avail much.”  I’ve thought about that a lot lately.  Recently, while I was with my kids at a playground…I met a woman who was concerned about her unborn baby…the baby was VERY small, but her doctor said the placenta might not be working properly and they wanted the baby to be taken out.  She was hoping the baby could stay in longer, as she was not full term yet, and her first child had been very small too.  I told her I would pray for her…that it must be so hard to know what the best thing to do is…and then my kids started having a tough time at the playground…and I felt a little silly telling her I would “pray for her,” as my kids were having such a tough time listening.  “Oh well,” I thought, “I’m still going to pray and see what God does.”  I prayed.  The next week (I saw her on a Thursday), she came to PWOC on Tuesday, with a 3 DAY OLD BABY!!!!  She said he came quickly and was healthy…and came on his own that Saturday.  I was completely in awe.  I noted God’s glorious answer to prayer….(on a side note–I can still pray EVEN though my family is NOT perfect 🙂 …even if this is apparent WHILE I am telling the person I shall pray for them 🙂 ) This baby’s life was SAVED and the mommy’s heart was at PEACE.

A few months back, we prayed for an untouched people to be REACHED.  Then To ACCEPT.  Then To BELIEVE.  And pressed further into the Lord and asked for Him to bring forth a BODY….a body of believers…a church.  We’ve received notifications of each of these things happening…to one tribe and then another.  What can’t the Lord do???  REALLY???  I think He is just waiting for us to be bold.  ASK and you SHALL receive.

The prayers of a righteous woman avail much He reminded me last Sunday….ok, so I was still wondering about this…”Lord, I am not righteous” I thought…the Lord responded that when He looks down on His people, He sees His son…His righteousness in me.  And also, with Elijah and his prayer for the drought…If we are in touch with God’s will, and are praying God’s will, then our prayers WILL be answered…in amazing ways.

Last week, my husband and I prayed for a man…his wife came to share with us a request…her husband had a heart attack a few years back with one artery quite blocked.  A test done recently because of a hernia showed more heart trouble.  She shared her concerns with us.  We prayed.  And then I prayed with another friend about it a few days later.  This past Sunday, his wife shared that the doctors had discovered when he went in for the test and procedure, that he had 4 arteries blocked this time…and blocked much more than the first artery had been, in which he had a heart attack….he was able to stay alert for the procedure…and they were able to somehow clear all 4 arteries (incredible medical technology they have these days!!!)…he was back in church just a few days later.  His life was SAVED.

Miracle after miracle…the question that lingers in my mind now is–

WHAT IF?  What if I knew that the MORE I prayed, the more God would respond in miraculous ways—He would SAVE a life if I would just pray…even thousands of them…and learn to continually pray His will in FAITH.

What if?  Needless to say, I feel propelled into more prayer now–REGARDLESS…regardless of the circumstance around me, regardless of how I feel, regardless of whether or not I think I am righteous….it doesn’t matter.  “The Lord DELIGHTS in the prayers of His people.”  He wants us to pray for each other.  He wants to take us out of our own worlds.  He wants us to think about each other.  He wants us to be BURDENED for one another…and to LOVE one another…enough…to pray.  We feel compassion…and seek to love…and KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT THAT HE CAN ANSWER (faith)—then He ACTS in powerful ways in response to our obedience.

What if you knew?

I think that people have a hard time understanding that such little effort on our part..to think of…to love…and pray… can be met with such POWERFUL answers…God is just that LOVING and that MIGHTY!!!

A heart-felt devotion on prayer…

When asked to do a devotion last week for PWOC…my passion for the past two years came to mind.  Prayer has been the center of my life here at Fort Irwin.  God ignited a passion for prayer that last year in Korea and even so much more here.  Some people have asked for my notes for the devotion…but as my handwriting can be a bit hard to read 🙂 …here is what He put on my heart to say to a group of precious, beautiful women last Tuesday morning:

Prayer Devotion: Fort Irwin PWOC 23 October 2012:

Opening Prayer: May the meditation of my heart and the words of my mouth be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer, and may our ears and the eyes of our hearts be open to what you have to say to us this morning.

Hi, my name is Dawn and I am so blessed to be able to talk to you about the wonders of prayer today.

Have you ever had to entrust so much to the Lord before?  This is what I love about prayer…prayer begins where my strength ends.  You see, God prepared me for this devotion—the last few days have been FULL of prayer, because I had to entrust so very much to the Lord.  My strength had ended more than a week ago.  I was tired and we had 2 weeks ahead that were going to be very busy…and I don’t like busy!  I get very anxious when there are lots of things on my “to-do list.”  So, I began to pray and entrust more and more to the Lord.  God continually puts me in this place as I forget to pray or to trust Him in different areas of my life.

Some of the things I LOVE about prayer are:

1) God is so merciful to hear my prayers AND answer them!  That never ceases to amaze me.

2) I learn so much about God through watching and remembering how He answers my prayers.

3) I have to be in a humble and contrite position before the Lord, with a pure heart, praying God’s truth and promises, crying out to Him—for Him to answer my prayers.  So, this ensures my heart in the right place…and I love that.  Truly, the peace of God does guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus as my heart is cleansed of sin and in that proper position of dependence on the Lord.

Here are some Scripture verses that have been very precious and meaningful to me in teaching me how to pray:

1 Thessalonians 5:17: “Be joyful always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  –This verse showed me that God wants prayer to be a venue for an intimate relationship with me, where I talk to him all throughout my day, be still and attentive to listen to His answers, and learn to depend on Him.

Psalm 145: 18: “God is near to all who call on Him—to all who call to Him in truth.” –This verse taught me to pray WITH God’s Word.  Using God’s Word, I can call on His promises, all to which He is always faithful, and that I should pray with a pure heart, knowing God knows all my thoughts and motives, needs and desires before I even ask…before the beginning of time.  I began to see that God wants me to have a fervent prayer life with Him first, in one-on-one prayer with my maker in fellowship and adoration of Him (The Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication format helped me know how to pray to a most Holy God and to prepare my heart to be in the right position to pray with purity), but to also feel COMFORTABLE to pray to Him all the time in any way I knew how…even if it was just…“Help me right now God.”  Out of the overflow of my prayer life alone with God, I was able to pray more effectively for and with other people.

Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” –This verse has been the most precious verse to me!  It has shown me that whenever I feel my heart become burdened , saddened, worried, upset, or any other emotion I might be experiencing, that is my cue to PRAY…and God will give me His incredible gift of peace that comes through surrendering my burdens to Him.  God’s peace will surely GUARD my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.  It is His PEACE that keeps my thoughts captive to Jesus.

Garden of Gesthemane: Jesus says, “Pray, so you won’t be tempted.” –Many times I have woken up in the middle of the night with no children to take care of, and with my sweet husband soundly sleeping next to me.  I felt the Lord tell me to pray…I have learned the importance of these prayers…whether in the middle of the night or during the day…when God tells me to pray, so that I won’t be tempted.  And those days that follow those times of prayer always turn out to be days of testing and trials for me…I have learned to pray hard as I feel my heart begin to be led astray.  I confess my sin right away and pray for protection…and God’s peace returns to my weary heart.

In the past 3 years, God has exploded in my heart the desire to pray.  God has been putting me often in the place of total need and total surrender to Him…total dependence… it was in this place that I began to daily read through the Bible several times through about 3 years ago and to PRAY with all my heart.  I saw amazing answers to my prayers and this was a faith-building time and a prayer-building time for me.  Some powerful answers to prayers I recall from that time in Korea: I witnessed a friend’s baby healed in utero as we prayed together, another friend conceived as we prayed together, God was merciful to save my baby in utero over and over again as more and more things kept popping up when I was pregnant with my little girl and even after her birth…really her first 18 months of life were really challenging for me too for many reasons…I began to BELIEVE.  I began to have FAITH.  It made me want to pray more and more…for our family, other people, and to pray WITH others.

When I came here to Fort Irwin, my faith began to be TESTED.  In so many ways….several people on my prayer list were still suffering with major sicknesses for months and some years after much prayer…I began to struggle in my prayer life…and that is when God showed me MORE of who HE is.  And He deepened my faith and relationship with Him during this time.

God also answered other prayers in more transparent ways here at Fort Irwin.  God helped me so much in my marriage.  He gave me more of a quiet heart, so He could speak more powerfully in my marriage and He taught me to pray much more over my husband and our relationship and his relationship with the Lord.  I saw amazing answers to these prayers as I had never trusted God in this way before.  My husband’s faith grew so much; he was baptized and began to have a hunger and thirst for God’s Word and for a deeper relationship with Jesus.  I also saw many changes in our relationship too.  In parenting, God taught me to pray over my son and our relationship and these prayers were powerfully answered too, as I learned to turn to God as my ever-present counselor in parenting, and my deliverer for my sin and my son’s, as we clashed a LOT.  God gave me an unexpected moment and day of unsurpassing joy as I witnessed my son come to know Jesus here.  I began to entrust the Lord with my dreams and desires for the future, praying for a purity of purpose for His Kingdom and to surrender my dreams, LOVE Him, and FOLLOW Him, regardless of which direction my life might go.  I began to love and know Jesus in more and MORE ways and THIS is my greatest treasure here in the desert.

Some of many things you can pray for that are directed  in God’s Word:

-Pastors and Leaders

-Country

-Salvation of those people God has put in your life (Oikos)

-Israel

-Future

-Past

-Present

-Obedience

-Deliverance

-God’s help (love, comfort, healing, etc) to the people He’s placed in your life.

-Relationships in your life to grow and strengthen and have God’s blessing and protection

-God’s Will in your Daily Life

-God’s calling for you/Your family

-God’s Protection

-God to send Workers in the Harvest Field

***As you read the Word…and go about your daily life, the Holy Spirit will prompt you with whom or for what He wants you to pray.

**Anything you care about, God cares about, so don’t hesitate to take your concerns to Him, no matter what it is.  And remember to watch and listen to see how He answers your prayers (and keep track if you can!), so you can learn more and more about HIM.

Stormie O’martian also has some wonderful books on how to pray for different relationships in your life as a wife, mom, and more.  There is a wealth of information out there to teach us more about prayer!

Closing Prayer:

Lord Jesus, We ask you to ignite in our hearts a passion for prayer, to humble our hearts in the consistent, continual need for dependence on you throughout each and every day.  Help us not just remember to pray, but for prayer to be the centerpiece of our lives from which everything else flows.  Father, we humbly ask you to increase our faith through your answers to our prayers and to supernaturally enable us to surrender all our burdens before your throne.  Lord Jesus, we ask you to open our eyes and reveal to us, out of your great love and mercy, more and more of who you are.  In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.

Healing Rain…

It always amazes me how many times the Lord heals us…Brian woke up last night in the middle of the night with flu symptoms…he was aching, with a fever, and felt nausious and terrible.  I began to pray.  Then I fell asleep…and then the Lord woke me again at 5:30am…and I knew it was to pray again.  Buddy woke up around 7…and I asked him to pray with me for daddy.  Buddy, our little prayer warrior for healing…didn’t want to pray.  He wanted to pray later…and didn’t think God liked his short prayers.  I told him it was important to pray now and not later because we wanted God to hear our prayers now and begin healing daddy right away 🙂  And then I told him how much Jesus loved hearing his prayers, no matter how he says them..no matter how short.  So, his prayers for healing were rejuvenated.  He prayed and God answered.  Brian is already feeling better not even 24 hours later.

Buddy asked me about healing today…why daddy didn’t feel better right as we were praying…why sometimes it takes time.  I told him that God has a sort of big cup in His hands…and sometimes, when we pray, the prayer is answered with healing right away, and othertimes, the prayer cup has to be full for it to tip over and bring forth healing.  It is something hard to understand.  His eyes lit up though and it made him excited to fill that prayer cup up with prayers for daddy!

It got me thinking.  It got me praying.  Prayers for healing have been on my mind.  We have a prayer meeting each week here at our home…and we send lots of prayers up to the Lord, but it has been difficult to measure the answers to those prayers.  We often don’t get to see the answered prayers.  I am longing for the tangible answers to prayer right now….for our prayer group’s faith to be lifted up…to help our faith to be rejuvenated.  We don’t need the miracles to believe…but we long to see the power in intercessory prayer…and that is when it HIT me.

I began to pray to the Lord to ask him about intercessory prayer and what kind of prayers are pleasing to Him…for a friend oceans away praying over people who are in need of so much healing and love and life….and also for our prayer group…and lately, Brian.  I have seen God heal instantaneously before.  I have seen his miracles.  I know there is power in prayer.  And that word kept echoing in my mind…POWER.  I gave it to God and asked for a Scripture to focus on.  And then I went to church yesterday and the songs were about the Power of the Lord…and His Authority over Everything.  God is putting it on the forefront of my mind.  And then this Scripture popped out at me at the bottom of a friend’s e-mail:

2 Peter 1:3  “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”

God’s POWER has given us everything we need for LIFE.  He has power to rebuke disease, to Heal, to break strongholds, to fulfill all His promises.  His power is what we pray by and believe on.  His great and glorious power and might.

And then we get to watch Him display His glory.  I’m looking forward to praying His power in intercessory prayer.  I ‘m looking forward to seeing His merciful answers to our pleas for our brothers and sisters and the unsaved.

A thirst for souls…

God wants us to have a thirst and hunger for the salvation of souls…as He does…and sometimes, the desire for salvation can be overwhelming for us…and of course, way outside our control.  We can only do the things God asks us to do…(plant the seeds)…and thankfully, the rest is in His hands.  There is weeping and longing…a hunger and thirst in my heart right now…and it produces earnest prayer and desire to the Lord.  My heart cries out.  I know He will hear me.  I know He wants me to feel like this for the unsaved.  But, as I cry out to Him….I release it into His loving, caring, and Sovereign hands.  I am praying confidently, bodly, lovingly, with full assurance of Salvation of the lost/suffering/and those in bondage.

Prayers that make His heart Glad

The other night we were praying at a prayer group and one sweet lady’s prayer was so beautiful to me…so short…so sweet.  She said she wasn’t sure how to pray.  She felt timid.  She felt unworthy.  She felt without knowledge.  I thought her prayer was the most humble of all: short, sincere, and pleasing to our Lord.

To reinforce what the Lord was teaching me about prayer, today at lunch, Hannah was making “wrong choices” (chucking food everywhere, yelling “no, no NO!”)…and Lewis of course was pointing it out to me…I asked him if he wanted to pray for her to help encourage her to do the right thing…he used to say, “no mommy, but you can pray for me/her and I’ll listen”….or “I’ll pray later…later mommy, ok?”….and now, he prays right away…mostly when we are sick…but today he decided to pray for sissy right then.  He said, “God, help sissy make right choices, Amen.”  And Hannah chimed in with an “Amen” right on cue!  Lewis then said to me, “Mommy, I like short prayers.”  I said, “me too, Lewis, me too.”  But…I think it is a process for me to know HOW to pray short prayers.  We are meant to pray unceasing, but to also pray most earnestly.  I know Jesus’s heart is most glad with the simple, most earnest prayers.

I am learning that shorter is better.  Less is more.  Especially in prayer.  He knows our hearts.  He knows our desires.  He knows every number on our head.  What is it He wants most from us in prayer then?  I think, to humble ourselves before Him.  To know our proper place in the most amazing relationship between us and our Creator.  And to have an intimate conversation with Him.  The rest…He tells us in His word…Worship/Praise, thanks, petition, etc….but mostly, a relationship with Him.  Let our fears not come before that.  However we can pray to start praying, is most important to Him I think.

Prayer as a Body

I am so very thankful for a prayer group that has begun 🙂  Prayer is so essential for each of us individually but prayer as a body brings miraculous answers…and develops sweet, loving bonds within the body.  It is essential to the body.  The body cannot survive without genuine prayer.  We have one Savior.  And He unites us through prayer…through His Spirit.

God is answering each of my prayers and fulfilling each of my longings in His time.  And the answers are so sweet.

God’s amazing ways of answering prayer…

“Ian swallowed nervously.  Yes, yes of course he believed God answered prayer, but–a tree?  Could it really suddenly disappear from the mountain track?  And then he remembered something quite remarkable.  It was a verse in the Bible and, strange to say, it was about a tree.  Jesus had said, “If you have faith you could say to this tree, ‘Pull yourself up by the roots and plant yourself in the sea’, and it would obey you.”  “Incredible!” thought Ian.  “I’ve never seen a tree move in answer to prayer–but there’s always a first time!”  So right there, in front of all the village people, he said in Thai language, “Dear Father-God, I’ve told these folk about you.  Now I need to get down to the next village to tell the people there.  Please move the tree off the track so I can get through.  Amen.”

(The tree didn’t move right away)

….. Ian stood there, drinking in every word.  His astonishment began to change to happiness.  He felt like dancing and he wanted to shout and sing!  Two days ago he had stood right here on this spot and had asked God to move the tree and, just two days ago, Tusker had strayed.  God had begun answering the very moment he had prayed…

“While the elephant was on its way to move the tree, God sent me to that other village,” he mused, “the one I didn’t even know was there, the real village-at-the-of-the-road.  The obstacle in the track meant I could tell other people about Jesus.”  “I’m glad it all happened,” he decided.  “I was right.  God does answer prayer and now I know He can even turn a difficulty into a launching pad for one of His special miracles.”

–Ian and the Gigantic Leafy Obstacle by Sheila Miller

Understanding the Purpose of Prayer

As God reveals more to be about the Purpose of Prayer, any spiritual dejection I was feeling is lifted, as I understand more that the purpose of Prayer is to get to know Him, not to get answers.  And to know He is always answering my prayers, even if I don’t SEE them being answered.

“We were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel.  Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened” (Luke 24:21).

“Every fact that the disciples stated was right, but the conclusions they drew from those facts were wrong.  Anything that has even a hint of dejection spiritually is always wrong.  If I am depressed or burdened, I am to blame, not God or anyone else…Spiritual lust causes one to demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Himself who gives the answer….The purpose of prayer is that we get ahold of God, not the answer…Dejection is a sign of sickness…If we will only obey, and do the task that He has placed closest to us, we will see Him.”  -My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers