Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cleaning out my computer files

Isn't it funny, not only do we have to clean out closets, drawers, toy chests and dryer lint traps. We must also clean out our computer files. I found a file that I wanted to save -- it was for a devotional I wrote in 2007 for my MOPS group.


Landy put out the call for someone to deliver the devotional today… deliver a devotional? In front of a room with relative strangers… speaking of something that I feel ill equipped to deliver… but heck – anyone know me knows that if in need, I’ll find a way.

So, I went about searching for something in my heart that I thought might touch someone in here… and then it hit me… just the simple power of faith and prayer… in being a woman, being a mom, being a wife, being a friend… the power of prayer is just something that until I guess you really experience the glory of God… you just have something to really look forward to. When we as Christians approach God, He still wants us to trust Him fully and understand that the solutions to our problems lie beyond our abilities. It is this recognition that releases the power of God. Prayer is an expression of the commitment and trust we have in God.

I was not raised in a church centered/oriented home. I went to church every other weekend with my dad… when I was older I began working and my typical Sunday was spent at my place of employment. It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s that I contemplated that there had to be something bigger and better than just me (amazing, I know)… and I began attending a Lutheran church in Colorado Springs. It was very contemporary and had a full band – how COOL! Going from a capella in the church of christ to a full band with a bass guitar and drums was just the icing on the cake to me and THAT was moving… THAT (for me) was worship… I was drawn to God then and there… Just as the a capella worship service didn’t appeal to me… formalized prayer doesn’t appeal to everyone – however even a capella or a 15 piece band… I believe the message really was the same – pray and give glory to God… take your worries to God… talk to God. I’m still a student of the bible so for me to sit up here and quote you bible verses would just be something that is just… bigger than I am… I did look up a few because I felt compelled to in my search … I’m by no means a theologian… though I’d like to be… among many other things… but the one thing that is a universal language like music is prayer…

Being the internet researcher that I am… I found these and wanted to share them with you…

The power of prayer is not the result of the person praying. Rather, the power resides in the God who is being prayed to. 1 John 5:14-15 tells us, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him." No matter the person praying, the passion behind the prayer, or the purpose of the prayer - God answers prayers that are in agreement with His will. His answers are not always yes, but are always in our best interest. When our desires line up with His will, we will come to understand that in time. When we pray passionately and purposefully, according to God's will, God responds powerfully! Prayer is communicating with God. All you have to do is ask God for His help. Psalm 107:28-30 reminds us, "Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven." There is power in prayer!

How much power? The power of prayer should not be underestimated. James 5:16-18 declares, "…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops." God most definitely listens to prayers, answers prayers, and moves in response to prayers. Jesus taught, "…I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you" (Matthew 17:20). 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 tells us, "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." The Bible urges us, "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints" (Ephesians 6:18).

Many of you don’t know me personally but I’ll share something with you -- in the recent past… I found a lump under my arm… I’m going today at 2pm for an appointment with the pancake doctors (mammographers) for a full diagnostic scan, mri and sonogram. I held in the fact that I’d found a lump from my family, my husband, my friends, but not my God… silently I prayed that it’d go away. Guess what – it didn’t. I finally felt that I needed to see my doctor and before I even made the call and all the rest fell into place, I put out an e-mail to my sisters in Christ to ask for prayers…. And I’ve had prayers flowing up … just for me ever since. It almost makes you feel special to just know that someone is sending a special message up to the Big Guy just on your behalf.

In the 19th Century, rescuing a drowning person from a pier presented certain logistical problems for lifeguards. They did not have the luxury of our modern rescue techniques and equipment. Instead, they used a "lifeline" system. When a lifeguard dove into the water after someone, he would tie a rope around himself and hand the other end to someone to hold. One stormy day, a lifeguard spotted a swimmer being swept under by the mighty ocean waves. In his haste, he forgot to tell someone, "hold the rope." Thus, as he went into the water, so did his lifeline. This lifeguard needlessly lost his life in the stormy ocean rage because of carelessness.

This story illustrates the importance of being consistent and faithful in upholding Christian workers through prayer. However, there is another lesson to be learned too. We should never rush off to do God’s work before we have adequate prayer support. As we serve the Lord, let us not forget to ask people to "hold our ropes."

And ever since I asked for someone to hold my hand in this walk of faith, I have felt the most complete sense of peace about the whole thing. You always here people say “give it to God”…and “pray about it” and I did… but only with a little help from my friends…helping hold my rope

The day that I’d called to schedule my appointment was like any other, chores, laundry… only the “what if” of this lump gave my simple non-serious life a violent shove INTO serious… as my eldest was off running wild in the woods with his dad, my husband was away for a trip to Vegas with his best friend to celebrate his birthday… I was alone with my 3 year old in a big house, with 3 fur babies… that night as I gave him a bath… I took a moment – and for anyone that knows me… I NEVER stop to just take a moment. The reality of the “what if” hit me and I didn’t want to miss out on anything of this little miracle’s life… as I watched him play in his bath with his Power Ranger toys and Buzz Lightyear action figures… without a care in the world… total faith in me… in the security of his home… what if this were serious… what if this were the dreaded “c” word… what if I wasn’t here for him for the big milestones in his life… what if… and none of that even seemed to be a greater worry than… what if I hadn’t asked someone to pray for me… and with me… that I will get through whatever this is…

The power of prayer… and faith in those praying for you is something amazing.

God's help through the power of prayer is available for all kinds of requests and issues. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us, "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 your minds in Christ Jesus." If you need an example of a prayer, read Matthew 6:9-13. These verses are known as the Lord's prayer. The Lord's prayer is not a prayer we are supposed to memorize and simply recite to God. It is only an example of how to pray and the things that should go into a prayer - worship, trust in God, requests, confession, protection, etc. Pray for these kinds of things, but speak to God using your own words.

The Word of God is full of accounts describing the power of prayer in various situations. The power of prayer has overcome enemies (Psalm 6:9-10), conquered death (2 Kings 4:3-36), brought healing (James 5:14-15), and defeated demons (Mark 9:29). God, through prayer, opens eyes, changes hearts, heals wounds, and grants wisdom (James 1:5). The power of prayer should never be underestimated because it draws on the glory and might of the infinitely powerful God of the universe! Daniel 4:35 proclaims, "All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: 'What have you done?'"

I wanted to close with a little sing-songy prayer that I thought would give you a second way to look at the way you do pray and how to count your many blessings that you have… you always want your children to take time to stop and smell the roses… and sometimes it’s time that we as moms do it too… life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.

A Moms Prayer
Dear Lord,
It's such a hectic day, With little time to stop and pray.
For life's been anything but calm since You called me to be a Mom. Running errands, matching socks, building dreams with wooden blocks, cooking, cleaning, finding shoes and other stuff that children lose…
Fitting lids on bottled bugs, wiping tears and giving hugs.
A stack of last week's mail to read, so where's the quiet time I need?
Yet, when I steal a moment, Lord, just at the sink or ironing board,
to ask the blessings of Your grace, I see then, in my small one's face,
that you have blessed me all the while, and I stoop to kiss that precious smile. ~Author Unknown~

1 comment:

chksngr said...

This is amazing...REALLY amazing!